The future of funding for WRAP is the focus of a Defra consultation to help determine how it can best deliver its activities in England with what is likely to be a reduced budget.
Defra’s funding for WRAP has fallen from £56m in 2009/10 to £26m in 2013/14 is following the 2010 Spending Review. The department, which supplies around half of WRAP’s total funding, said further funding cuts were likely to be needed if it was to meet its budget targets.
As part of a comprehensive funding review of WRAP, Defra now wants to hear from businesses, local authorities, civil society organisations and individuals as part of a review that will outline funding for WRAP’s activities in England in support of waste reduction and resource efficiency.
In the consultation document, DEFRA acknowledged the £2bn of economic benefits WRAP’s work has contributed to the UK, including £1.8 billion in cost savings between 2008 and 2011. WRAP’s contributions to developing PET bottle recycling, recycling processes for mixed plastics and working to change consumer behaviour were also highlighted.
WRAP said it was understandable that Defra was reviewing its funding. Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, said: “We are already looking at ways of reducing the amount of funding needed from Government, and are exploring ways of diversifying our funding. Defra is only one of our funders, in fact the Scottish Government is now [for 2013/14] our largest single funder.”
In 2012/13 Defra supplied 45% of WRAP’s total funding, with Zero Waste Scotland supplying 36%, and 8% coming from the Welsh Government, including the European Regional Development funded Accelerating Reprocessing Infrastructure Development (ARID) programme. WRAP received 4% of its total funding from Northern Ireland, with the rest made up from other sources.
Goodwin said WRAP was looking at where at ways of diversifying its funding. “Thinking and discussions are still underway so we are not yet in a position to share any conclusions.
“But it is obvious that the work we do to tackle food waste will continue to be a key priority for WRAP, not least because it can improve the competitiveness and resilience of the food industry, and tackle such issues as food security.”
WRAP’s business plan aims include a 3 million tonnes reduction in biodegradable waste going to landfill annually and 3 million tonnes cut in primary resource use. Some of DEFRA priorities for WRAP for 2013/14 include food waste prevention, product sustainability and promoting resource efficiency in the construction sector.
Marks & Spencer’s head of sustainable business, Mike Barry, tweeted that funding for WRAP “critical if we are to build a circular economy”.
The consultation runs until May 24.
The consultation document asks:
- Where are the most important market failures?
- Where are there barriers cost-effective resource efficiency measures?
- What is the best way to deliver these activities on Defra’s behalf?
- Which of WRAP’s current activities do you value most?
- Which activities should be regarded as lower priority?
- What role should Defra fund WRAP to play in the EU or internationally?
- What appetite is there among WRAP’s beneficiaries to make a financial contribution in return?
- Could reduced Defra funding have any indirect effects?