Friday, June 15, 2007

UK - Producers pledge to reduce packaging

In 2005, the major retailers in the UK signed up to the Courtauld Commitment with Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The meeting, initiated through WRAP's Retail Innovation Programme, focused on engaging support to find new packaging solutions and technologies, so that less rubbish ends up in the household bin. At the end of the summit, the participating retailers agreed in the achievements of its objectives:

*To design out packaging waste growth by 2008.
*To deliver absolute reductions in packaging waste by 2010.
*To identify ways to tackle the problem of food waste.

The aim is to reduce the 6.3 million tonnes of packaging reaching UK homes each year by at least 340,000 tonnes by 2010. The Commitment also requires signatories to draw-up plans to reduce the estimated 6.7 million tonnes of food waste produced in the UK each year. There are now 25 major grocery organisations signed up to the Commitment, which was drawn-up in late 2005.

Food and drinks manufacturers including Britvic and Cadbury Schweppes have signed-up to the voluntary agreement between UK retailers to reduce packaging and food waste.

WRAP's chief executive Liz Goodwin said: "This announcement is good news for the consumer and the environment. Alastair Sykes, chairman and chief executive of Nestle UK, added: "Reducing packaging waste is environmentally responsible and makes sound business sense. This partnership will benefit the environment, reduce waste and improve efficiency, so it creates shared value for our business and the wider community."

A range of measures have been implemented by other signatories including Asda's lighter salad bags which have reduced material use by 14% and Co-op's decision to remove cartons from their tomato puree.

WRAP Courtauld Commitment link

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