Morrisons has announced an important change to all stores as it hopes to reduce food waste.

From the end of January, “use by” dates will no longer appear on most of its milk. Instead, it will be replaced by a “best before” date on 90 percent of its own-brand milk.

The supermarket hopes to encourage customers to use a sniff test to check the quality of the milk, instead of throwing it away.

Morrisons believes this move will stop millions of pints of its own-brand milk from being thrown away every year.

Recycling charity, Wrap, says Morrisons is the first supermarket to announce the move.

Ian Goode, senior milk buyer at Morrisons, said: “Wasted milk means wasted effort by our farmers and unnecessary carbon being released into the atmosphere.

“Good quality well-kept milk has a good few days life after normal ‘use by’ dates – and we think it should be consumed, not tipped down the sink.

“So, we’re taking a bold step today and asking customers to decide whether their milk is still good to drink.

“Generations before us have always used the sniff test – and I believe we can too.”

A sour aroma or curdled consistency is a sign the milk has been spoiled and should no longer be consumed.

Bury Times: Morrisons will no longer have "use by" dates on milk (Morrisons/PA)Morrisons will no longer have "use by" dates on milk (Morrisons/PA)

According to Wrap, milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK, after potatoes and bread. The charity has said around 490 million pints are wasted each year.

It also estimates that 85 million pints of milk are wasted due to customers following a “use by” label, despite research revealing it can be used days after the date.

It is hoped by removing this date, customers will be able to enjoy their milk for longer and without the need to throw it away when it has passed a certain date.

Marcus Gover, of Wrap, said: “I am delighted that Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to take this important step to help reduce household food waste – it shows real leadership and we look forward to more retailers reviewing date labels on their products and taking action.”