WRAP claims to have met all its major published targets over the past three years and has spelled out its future agenda.
Food waste, recycling services for businesses, and encouraging greater reuse of scarce resources will be the top priorities for WRAP over the next three years.
Unveiling a report on the impact of WRAP’s business plan at the annual conference, chief executive Dr Liz Goodwin said the organisation had helped keep 11 million tonnes of waste out of landfill, avoid 5.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions and generate £2bn of benefits to the UK economy, including £1.8bn of cost savings.
WRAP also unveiled research showing household food waste had fallen by 13% during the three-year period. The benefits of greater reuse of materials such as textiles were also emphasised.
Goodwin said there would be significant gains for both UK jobs and the environment through greater reuse of goods and services.
“The environmental benefit of being resource efficient is largely accepted as a given but increasingly we are being challenged to identify and pursue the economic benefits that can be delivered at the same time. Today, it would be nice if we could for once and for all dispel that urban myth that making your business more resource efficient carries a net cost.
“All the governments of the UK which fund our work have the goal of moving swiftly towards a zero waste society. Their priority is to find ways of tackling waste – including food waste – and keep scarce resources in use for as long as possible. This is where WRAP’s work comes into play.
“WRAP’s work in supporting families and business in wasting less and recycling more is well known. Less well known is the ground-breaking research and technological innovation we have pioneered which supports the UK economy through major breakthroughs in resource efficiency that deliver cost savings.”
The business plan report said that the carbon savings from reusing textiles, particularly clothing, electrical items and furniture, dwarfed the savings from recycling alone.
It said: “We are working with the textiles and retail sectors to see how incentivising take-back may add business benefits, as well as looking at how products can be reused and repaired. We are also investigating the best types of collection and sorting systems.”