She revealed that WRAP has met all its published major targets, having 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.
As an important part of the information reporting on progress in the last three years, WRAP published new research which showed a sharp fall in household food waste by 13% but showed we still throw away edible food worth £12bn a year.
Dr Goodwin, commenting on the food waste figures, said that the fall in household food waste since 2006/07 from 8.3 million tonnes to 7.2 million tonnes per year was very welcome and probably due to a range of factors. However, there was a big job still to be done given the food we waste in homes alone is worth £12bn a year, and food wasted throughout the supply chain was ‘significant’ at a time when food security was a major global issue.
She also announced the results of the first major research into the benefits of greater reuse of materials such as textiles. This showed, she said, that there would be significant gains for both UK jobs and the environment through reusing goods and services more, rather than just throwing them away.
Dr Goodwin said she was very proud of the contribution WRAP is making to help business and families find cost savings and identify growth opportunities for the UK economy, given the current severe financial pressures we all face.
She said: “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.”
She added: “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.”
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.