Food and Drink: Waste Prevention - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:07 am on 17 June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State 11:07, 17 June 2020

I too am very concerned. There are 47,000 pubs across the UK and between them they have around 140 million litres of spoiled beer that needs to be cleared from pub cellars to make way for fresh stock. That is the equivalent of around 56 Olympic swimming pools. However, there are enormous difficulties in disposing of spoiled beer. The main obstacle is that beer containers must be removed from pub cellars, around three-quarters of which are subterranean. Most are designed to allow full containers of beer to roll into the cellar using gravity, and given that each one weighs around 70 kilograms, taking them back out is at least a two-person job. In the current conditions, that obviously presents logistical and health and safety challenges. It may be easier for pubs with street-level cellars to send full containers of beer for repurposing elsewhere. Defra and BEIS are engaging with the BBPA to ensure that pubs are being encouraged to do so. We are actively working on finding alternatives to simply disposing of beer down waste systems.