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Brand owners sign pledge to reduce packaging waste

Three additional brand owners have signed up to the Courtauld Commitment, pledging to address the problem of retail packaging waste.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) announced today that Heinz, Northern Foods and Unilever have joined the existing 13 signatories, in a bid to design out packaging growth by 2008, deliver absolute reductions in packaging waste by March 2010 and identify ways of tackling food waste.

The announcement came after WRAP chief executive Jennie Price and Local Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw met with the Courtauld Commitment signatories to see what action they had taken to meet their commitments made last year to reducing packaging waste.

Bradshaw described the meeting as very encouraging and constructive, adding that all of the retailers had said the commitments were achievable.

Over the next year we really need to see delivery on those plans and we still need to crack the problem of food waste, Bradshaw said.

We waste a scandalous amount of food, which is something we should work harder on over the next year, he added.

Questioned about the potential problems generated by biodegradable packaging that has been adopted by some retailers, such as public confusion as to what packaging is to be composted and what is to be recycled, Bradshaw said: Were not encouraging it. Were asking retailers to think very carefully.

There is a real problem with biodegradable material in that it can actually be worse in overall life cycle terms, he explained. But he added that the public seem very keen on such packaging.

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