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grocery sector waste from food and packaging worth £6.9 billion

8th October 2013

Research conducted by the waste advisory agency WRAP has identified that grocers in the UK produce food and packaging waste with an approximate total value of £6.9 billion. The research which was published by WRAP on the 6th of October, evaluates the supply chain of UK based grocers looking at waste entering and exiting the sector’s waste stream to assess where significant opportunities to reduce food and packaging waste lie.

According to WRAP packaging waste accounts for 1.2Mt of the estimated 6.5 Mt of waste produced by the grocery waste stream with 3.9 Mt arising from food and drinks manufacturing. Richard Swannell, director at WRAP claimed: “This new research from WRAP can help deliver significant benefits for businesses and the environment. Armed with this knowledge, businesses, and the supply chain as a whole, can more readily identify where problems are arising, enabling them to find the solutions to reduce their waste and make large financial and environmental savings.”

Many retailers have already managed substantial financial and environmental savings by introducing Zero Waste to Landfill targets to complement the targets of WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment of which many large UK grocers are signatories to.

Courtauld Commitment targets include reducing packaging weight by 10%, household food and drink waste by 4% and supply chain waste by 5%. Signatories such as Sainsbury’s and Unilever have already achieved Zero waste to landfill – read more here - while Waitrose have proved with their ‘Waitrose Way’ scheme that redesigning packaging can divert up to 70% of some packaging away from landfill.

Zero waste to landfill targets help retailers and grocers achieve some of the many UK targets and legislation laid out by the government as a part of their aim to become a Zero Waste Economy by 2020. Company targets require planning and strategy and often full waste management consultations and audits.

For more information on how your company can implement a zero waste to landfill strategy please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Comply Direct team.