Packaging waste could equate to £6.9bn, finds WRAP

Waste from packaging in the grocery retail supply chain is expected to have a value of £6.9bn, new research from WRAP has shown.

WRAP has estimated that the grocery retail supply chain accounts for 6.5m tonnes (mt) of packaging waste, of which 3.9mt comes from food and drink manufacturers. “Retailers’ main waste comes from packaging, which, in total, accounts for around 1.2mt,” the organisation said.   

Some 7% of the value of food and drink sales to households is locked in packaging, “money which could be used to increase exports or investment to help individual businesses and the economy to grow”, the organisation said.

WRAP’s new research also looks at food waste across the supply chain, showing how it is managed and where food is redistributed and where it is used as an ingredient in animal feed.

According to the research, there is a “significant” opportunity to minimise food, drink and packaging waste across the sector. “It supports the need for businesses to work to reduce their own waste, but also to work collaboratively across the supply chain to unlock waste prevention solutions,” WRAP said.

Meanwhile, director of WRAP Richard Swannell said: “This new research from WRAP can help deliver significant benefits for businesses and the environment. 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.”

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