UK food industry to play role in WRAP’s £2bn savings plan

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Re-using food waste a priority
Re-using food waste a priority

Related tags Supply chain Recycling Carbon dioxide

UK food manufacturers and the wider food industry are expected to play a significant role in helping to save the UK economy £2bn through preventing waste and curbing CO2 emissions, according to plans from the government-funded, Waste & Resources Action Programme.

WRAP has announced plans to save 7m tonnes of CO2 and to prevent 3m tonnes of waste adding up to savings of just under £2bn.

Richard Swannell, the organisation’s director of Design and Waste Prevention, told FoodProductionDaily: “One of the biggest challenges society faces over the next decade is reducing the environmental impact of the things we buy – that includes food.

“By 2015 we aim to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions associated with avoidable food and drink waste – across the whole supply chain – by 3.2 million tonnes a year. We’ll do that by continuing to work in partnership with manufacturers and retailers to reduce the waste in their supply chains.”

On of the targets under the Courtauld Commitment is to reduce supply chain product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 5 percent by next year.

Waste prevention

We’ll also expand our food and drink waste prevention work to hospitality, tourism and public sectors, and we’ll continue to work closely with the packaging sector to optimise packaging to minimise product waste,​ “said Swannell.

“The food industry has made really good progress in minimising its environmental impact and we’re confident we can work together to make even further progress​.”

WRAP chief executive, Liz Goodwin said while unveiling the organization’s new 2011 to 2015 business plan that it would focus on preventing waste by renewing emphasis on recycling, repairing and reusing.

Each of the four UK Governments recognises that resource efficiency is central to their environmental objectives which can boost the economy and are funding WRAP to help deliver that”,​ said Goodwin.

WRAP also intended to offer greater support to communities, businesses and individuals who wanted to make changes with practical, research-based advice. Already 1m people have used the organisation’s Recycle Now and Love Food Hate Waste websites.

New opportunities

We’re really optimistic that the UK will embrace the challenges ahead – not just because greater resource efficiency is sustainable and good for the environment, but because it saves money, and generates new opportunities for businesses and creates jobs​,” said Goodwin.

Cutting waste in the hospitality sector and encouraging more reuse of textiles would be given particular attention. “We’ll also be doing even more to support SMEs ​(small and medium sized enterprises) and we’ll continue to support anaerobic digestion plants being built to create energy and compost,”​ she added.

WRAP targets 2011 – 2015

• 7m tonnes CO2 avoided/year
• 3m tonnes of biodegradable waste diverted from landfill/year
• £1.9b cost savings to the economy
• £130m growth in the resource management sector/year
• 3m tonnes of primary resources saved/year
• 2m tonnes of waste prevented/year

Related topics Processing & packaging

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