A steering group, dedicated to tackling the issue of food waste recycling, met for the first time last week, and has already received the support of Defra Resources Minister, Rory Stewart.
Initiated by WRAP and chaired by waste and resources specialist and Industry of the Year finalist in CIWM’s Sustainability and Resources Awards, Ray Georgeson, the group plans to identify tangible, industry led actions to maximise the amount of household and commercial food waste collected and recycled in England.
During the meeting, the group discussed areas that could become themes for the action plan, including communication to householders, ways to improve existing collections; and, alternative contractual arrangements to help fund collections. Smaller sub groups have been formed to explore the themes in more detail and will report back when the group reconvene in November.
Those that attended the steering group meeting came from across the industry and included waste treatment operators, local authorities, private sector waste collectors and industry bodies.
Defra Minister Shows Food Waste Support
The Minister said: “From big businesses through to the supermarket shopper – we all have a responsibility to waste less food. It’s great news that UK homes are throwing away 15% less food than in 2007 and together with WRAP we are working with retailers and industry to reduce this even further. But we also need to make sure that where food waste is unavoidable, it is treated in the most sustainable way.
“I want to thank WRAP for this important work and for bringing members of the recycling sector together so we can continue to cut the amount of food waste that goes to landfill.”
Marcus Gover, director at WRAP, said: “At present, just over 10% of household food waste is captured and recycled. This means that the majority is still ending up in the residual waste stream, which is a costly loss for local authorities and a missed opportunity for food waste recyclers. Keeping it out of landfill and channelling it into recycling is an urgent priority, which is why we need the whole sector to work together – and this is exactly what the new action plan is designed to achieve.”
Ray Georgeson, Chair of the Steering Group, said: “There was a real energy and enthusiasm from everyone in the room to work together to assess carefully where we have got to and then identify the important next steps to improve food waste recycling performance.”
“I’m confident that by working more closely across the supply chain, identifying current barriers, and finding ways to overcome these as cost effectively as possible for all involved, we can find the best ways forward and increase the amount of food waste we currently recycle. I’m delighted to be chairing the Steering Group and looking forward to working with such a committed team from across the sector.”