UK Grocery Stores, Brands Cut Supply Chain Waste 8.8%

by | Oct 11, 2012

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UK retailers including Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and Tesco and brands Coca-Cola Enterprises and Kraft Foods, among others, have reduced their supply chain waste by 8.8 percent compared to a 2009 baseline, putting them ahead of a three-year target of 5 percent, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

WRAP today released the latest results of the Courtauld Commitment Phase 2, a voluntary pledge to cut packaging and food waste.

Phase 2, launched in 2012, follows the original Courtauld Commitment (Phase 1) launched in 2005, and added supply chain waste reduction to the agreement. Some 53 retailers and major brands have signed the pledge.

Targets include reducing the carbon impact of grocery packaging by 10 percent, cutting UK household food and drink waste by 4 percent and reducing product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 5 percent, including both solid and liquid wastes.

After a disappointing first year — 2010 figures showed the industry was not going to meet its three-year goal, having only reduced waste by 0.4 per cent — WRAP says the grocery sector is back on track to meet its targets by the end of 2012.

The packaging target is also on course at 8.2 percent, more than three quarters of the way towards the target of 10 percent carbon reduction.

Household food waste data is not collected yearly but WRAP says the signatories did achieve a 3 percent reduction in the first year. The organization will collect data and release results for final year reporting, it says.

Last month, WRAP published reports saying that UK consumers throw out about 1 million tons of textiles — mainly clothes, shoes and linens like bedding and curtains — every year. Reusing or recycling these items, which currently end up in the landfill, could generate millions of pounds.

According to WRAP director Marcus Gover, recovering just 10 percent of the £238 million ($383.6 million) worth of textiles thrown out in 2012 could generate about £24 million.

Photo Credit: WRAP

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