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WRAP: Food and packaging waste in grocery sector worth £6.9bn

Reducing food, drink and packaging waste in the grocery retail sector represents an opportunity for significant financial savings, according to report from WRAP.

Food and packaging waste in the grocery sector is worth £6.9bn, which accounts for 7% of the value of all food and drink sales to households, WRAP’s research found.

WRAP estimated that there is 6.5 megatonnes (Mt) of waste arising in the grocery retail supply chain, of which 3.9 Mt comes from food and drink manufacturers. The majority of this is food, which is now worth around £950 per tonne, according to WRAP.

Retailers’ main waste arisings come from packaging, which accounts for around 1.2 Mt of the sector’s waste.

WRAP’s report says businesses in the grocery industry need to work together across the supply chain to unlock waste prevention solutions.

Richard Swannell, WRAP’s director of sustainable food systems, said: “Armed with this knowledge, businesses, and the supply chain as a whole, can more readily identify where problems are arising, enabling them to find the solutions to reduce their waste and make large financial and environmental savings.”

WRAP introduced supply chain waste reduction target through its Courtauld Commitment Phase 2, a voluntary agreement to reduce manufacturing and retail waste, in 2010. A final report on the Phase 2 agreement due to be published this autumn will show progress with the supply chain target, said WRAP.

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