WRAP Report Reveals the Perception And Reality Of Food Waste

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A new report published today highlights that changes in consumer attitudes and behaviours around packaging could help reduce household food waste.

The research reinforces that consumers do not realise the important role packaging plays in helping to reducing food waste, particularly once they get products home.

WRAP produced the report – Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging – in partnership with INCPEN, The Packaging Federation, Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Kent Waste Partnership and British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Whilst there is recognition that packaging is important to protect food on its way to, and in, the store, only 13 percent of consumers believe that it can play the same role in the home.

The research also shows that consumers feel confident about how they store food. However, only 22 percent currently look at storage guidance on pack, which would maximise life in the home, and many are in reality storing foods in less than ideal conditions.

Alice Ellison, British Retail Consortium said – “We have long said that appropriate use of packaging preserves food and reduces waste”

The report also suggests that food retailers, manufactures and their trade associations should raise awareness with consumers about the existing innovations in packaging, food labelling, and design that have been made in the last few years and how to keep food fresher for longer.

Not surprisingly the research found that, after price, freshness and how long food lasts for are the most important factors for consumers.

However throwing away food as a result of it not being used in time is costing UK consumers £6.7bn a year (*£270 for the average household).

Fresher For Longer

The “Fresher for longer” initiative launched with exclusive retail partner Marks and Spencer at Tunbridge Wells store with the support of Kent Waste Partnership.

The creative campaign shows that apples should keep their pack on and pears hold onto theirs ‘till lunch do us part’ demonstrating that packaging not only keeps it fresher for longer, but also protects food in the home.  The ‘Fresher for Longer’ campaign materials can be used by all retailers, brands and councils from today. Visit Love Food Hate Waste website for all the campaign visuals including handy bag clip postcards, on-pack artwork and posters.

Adam Elman, head of plan and delivery at M&S – “By reducing the amount of packaging we use and ensuring its easily recyclable, we’ve worked hard to make it as easy as possible for our customers to live more sustainably”

In addition to the national report and campaign launch in Kent, a Parliamentary launch takes place the same afternoon.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Packaging is hosting a special meeting at 2pm in the Houses of Parliament to raise awareness of the partners’ Consumer Attitudes report, and also the Fresher for Longer campaign.

Richard Swannell, director of design and waste prevention at WRAP said: “With 7.2mt of waste occurring in the home, our latest report has investigated consumer awareness around packaging, and how storing food effectively can help reduce that waste. By working with companies and industry bodies, we can help consumers to take advantage of recent innovations and keep food fresher for longer.”

Adam Elman, head of plan and delivery at M&S, said: “By reducing the amount of packaging we use and ensuring its easily recyclable, we’ve worked hard to make it as easy as possible for our customers to live more sustainably. Packaging plays an important role in protecting the quality and freshness of our food, which is why we feature on-pack storage advice and continue to introduce innovative packaging that keeps food fresher for longer.”

Alice Ellison, British Retail Consortium said: “We have long said that appropriate use of packaging preserves food and reduces waste.  Grocery retailers have already achieved notable reductions in food and packaging waste through working with WRAP on the Courtauld Commitment targets and the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.  This report should stimulate further reductions in food waste by promoting the role that packaging plays in keeping food fresher for longer in the home.”

www.wrap.org.uk/fresherforlonger

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