Britain's grocers have been put in the front line of the government's war on waste.

Environment secretary David Miliband has identified food retail as his top priority for measures aimed at reducing and recycling waste. Unveiling his Waste Strategy for England 2007 Green Paper, he revealed plans to set specific reduction targets.

The Environment Agency has already set a target for cutting waste disposal between 2006 and 2011 by 15%, but Miliband said he wanted to increase targets. Nearly half of all household waste in landfill originated in grocery stores - while 20% of household rubbish is discarded packaging, said the paper.

Supermarkets also face being named and shamed on a carbon-users league table under the Government's White Paper on Energy, also published this week.