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Food and drink industry claims landfill success

Food and drink manufacturers sent 3% of food and packaging waste to landfill in 2012 compared to 16.5% in 2006, according to new figures.

The Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) ‘Five-fold Environmental Ambition’ report suggests that manufacturers are on track to meet industry targets including zero waste to landfill by 2015.

The reductions are being achieved ahead of schedule despite an increase in outputs to meet growing demands, according to FDF.

The reductions were also influenced by WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment, a voluntary agreement to reduce waste among food manufacturers, which is now in its third phase.

Signatories to Courtauld Commitment 2 delivered a 7.4% absolute reduction in supply chain waste over the three years of the commitment compared to 2009, exceeding the 5% target, according to FDF.

Another target of the third phase is to reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% by 2015, from a 2012 baseline.

Other highlights of FDF’s Ambition, which was launched in 2007, include:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions cut by 32% since 1990 (target 35% reduction by 2020)
  • Water use cut by 16% since 2007 (target 20% reduction by 2020)

Andrew Kuyk, FDF director of sustainability, said: “Through Five-fold, food and drink manufacturers have committed to ambitious voluntary targets, embedding good environmental practices within their core business operations to deliver truly sustainable growth.”

Leendert den Hollander, chief executive officer of Young’s Seafood and chair of the FDF’s Sustainability Steering Group, said: “It is great to see the industry coming together to raise our collective environmental performance through the sharing of expertise and insights, and the drive for action by member companies.”

  • Look out for MRW running a ‘Zero Waste Insight’ in the new year. It will investigate whether company claims of sending 100% zero waste to landfill are genuine.

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