A further 1.1 million tonnes of waste reduction is being targeted by WRAP as part of the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment.
All major grocery retailers, and many household brands and manufacturers have signed up to new targets for the period 2013-2015.
The agreement is funded by Westminister, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments and is delivered by WRAP.
These new Courtauld Commitment phase 3 targets are:
- Reduce household food and drink waste by 5 per cent – this represents a 9 per cent reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in food purchased
- Reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3 per cent – signatories will have to make an 8 per cent reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in production and sales
- Improve packaging design through the supply chain to maximise recycled content as appropriate, improve recyclability and deliver product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging – signatories will have to make a 3 per cent reduction in real terms to counter the expected sales increase.
As a result of Courtauld 1 and 2, WRAP suggests that 1 million tonnes less packaging has been used.
There are now limited opportunities for more substantial reductions in packaging, so the focus is now on optimising packaging to reduce food waste and improve recyclability while ensuring no increase in the carbon impact.
This should also help the Government meet its 2013-17 packaging targets, WRAP said.
WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said: “Courtauld 3 builds on the achievements of Courtauld 1 and 2 by tackling the areas that bring the greatest financial benefits to UK plc and deliver significant reduction in environmental impact.
“Over the course of the three phases of the agreement, a 20 per cent reduction in UK household food waste is achieveable – a deeply impressive outcome.”
Defra Resource Management Minister Lord de Mauley said: “Together we are cutting down on waste to deliver £1.6 billion of savings, which is good for consumers, the food and drink sector and local authorities.
“It’s crucial that we keep reducing waste so that we can continue to see significant benefits for businesses and the environment.”
Signatories to Courtauld 3 include: Aldi, ASDA, Boots, Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, Tesco, The Co-Operative Food, Waitrose, Morrisions, Carlesberg, Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle, Unilever and Warburtons.