Grocers commit to new food waste reduction targets
Grocery retailers have signed up to new food and drink waste reduction targets as part of the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment launched today by resource efficiency body WRAP.
A total of 45 signatories, including major grocery retailers, have committed to a range of new goals which could bring £1.6 billion cost benefits to both consumers and the industry and reduce waste by 1.1 million tonnes by 2015.
The ambitious new targets include the reduction of household food and drink waste by 5% by 2015 and a 3% decrease in traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain. Signatories have also committed to improve packaging design to maximise recycled content, improve recyclability and deliver effective product protection to reduce food waste.
The agreement is being funded by Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments and delivered by WRAP. It will run for three years from 2013 to 2015, with targets measured against a 2012 baseline.
To achieve the targets, signatories will work to help consumers reduce waste in the home through targeted food waste reduction initiatives such as WRAP’s Love Food, Hate Waste’ campaign, as well as clearer product labelling and improved packaging design.
WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin, said: "Courtauld 3 builds on the achievements of Courtauld 1 and 2 by tackling the areas that bring the greatest financial benefits to UK plc and deliver significant reduction in environmental impact. Over the course of the three phases of the agreement, a 20% reduction in UK household food waste is achievable, a deeply impressive outcome."
The initiative is being supported by the British Retail Consortium. BRC food and sustainability director Andrew Opie added: "These new targets build on the major strides already made by grocery retailers to reduce food and packaging waste. Despite the downturn and other challenges affecting business, the retail industry is continuing to innovate and collaborate on waste reduction as well as working hard to meet wider green goals across all aspects of its operations. That's delivering real environmental benefits as well as value for customers."
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