The signatories of Courtauld 3, launched last week, are aiming to reduce food waste by 1.1 million tonnes by 2015, bringing £1.6bn cost benefits to consumers and industry.
The focus of the project is on optimising packaging to reduce food waste and improve recyclability.
“Optimising packaging has been a great success and will continue, but there are limited opportunities to reduce it further without risking increased product wastage.
“Now the focus is on improving design to optimise recycled content, improve recyclability and helping to reduce food waste,” said the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP).
Simon Balderson, Sirane’s managing director, said it is possible to reduce packaging and food waste with more advanced packages.
“We’ve already worked on technology that will enable people to move towards achieving the aims of Courtauld 3 and beyond.
“Courtauld 3 might seem daunting, but our message is clear. We can help. Bring us your packaging problems and we might have a solution – and if we haven’t we will work on developing one.”
Balderson added that using more advanced technology can save companies money in the long-run, as they’ll get money back from reduced wastage and returns.
Signatories so far
45 signatories, including grocery retailers and brand manufacturers have signed up to the third phase of the commitment.
Nestlé UK & Ireland, Mars (UK), Coca-Cola Enterprises, Arla Foods UK, Unilever, HJ Heinz Foods UK and Heineken UK are among the signatories.
Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 targets are:
• Reduce household food and drink waste by 5% - this represents a 9% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in food purchased
• Reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% - signatories will have to make an 8% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in production and sales.
• Improve packaging design through the supply chain to maximise recycled content as appropriate, improve recyclability and deliver product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging - signatories will have to make a 3% reduction in real terms to counter the expected sales increase.
INCPEN said it is pleased that WRAP recognised that optimised packaging saves waste.
“Reducing waste of food and other products is the prime purpose of packaging – it’s why our members use it. Packaging protects products from farm or factory to home and it performs a number of other functions that make life easier and benefit the environment,” said the trade body.
More than seven million tonnes of food is thrown away by UK household every year, around 20% by weight of that purchased, according to 2011 WRAP research.