The final results of Phase 2 of the Couratuld Commitment, released by WRAP, show a 1.7m tonnes reduction in food and packaging waste.
This equates to a saving of 4.8m tonnes of CO2e for the grocery sector and WRAP says the results show significant progress has been made. The supply chain target has been exceeded, the packaging target has been met and the household food waste target narrowly missed.
The pick of the results from Phase 2 include:
- Supply chain product and packaging waste target – Traditional grocery product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain was reduced by 7.4%, exceeding the 5% target. Supply chain waste decreased by 217,000 tonnes per year in 2012 relative to the baseline year.
- Packaging target – The carbon impact of grocery packaging was reduced by 10.0% against a target of 10%. Grocery packaging weight also reduced by 10.7%.
- Household food and drink waste target – A 3.7% absolute reduction in total household food waste was achieved (270,000 tonnes) against a target of 4% (92% of the target was achieved).
The packaging target was achieved as a result of work undertaken to innovate and optimise product packaging, including for example, lightweighting, using recycled content, designing packaging with recyclability in mind and changing product formats to better accommodate consumer needs (e.g. refill packs).
Although the household food and drink waste target was narrowly missed, the avoidable household food waste reduced by 5.3%, an achievement that saved consumers £700 million and local authorities £20m (in 2012 alone). The CO2e savings associated with this reduction amount to around 930,000 tonnes in 2012.
Dr Liz Goodwin, WRAP’s CEO, said: “During the course of Courtauld 2 financial savings of around £3.1bn were made, by signatories and their customers. These are impressive results. The final outcome of phase 2 shows how collaborative working achieves results that have financial benefits to the UK and deliver significant reductions in environmental impact. We know there is still more we can do and I’m delighted to see 50 leading retailers, brands and manufacturers signed up to the Courtauld Commitment 3 showing their continued commitment.”
Resource Management Minister Dan Rogerson said: “Everyone has a role to play in reducing waste and I want to see more businesses helping consumers to waste less food and save money. We have made great strides in reducing food and packaging waste and I’m delighted with the progress so far. There’s still a long way to go and we will continue to work closely with food retailers and manufacturers to cut waste even further.”
Courtauld Commitment phase 3 launched in May 2013 and runs until 2015. It aims to further reduce the weight and carbon impact of household food waste, grocery product and packaging waste, both in the home and the UK grocery sector. The agreement is funded by Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments and delivered by WRAP.