Supermarkets must address waste problem

UK supermarkets and food producers have been told by the British Government to increase their efforts in reducing the amount of food waste and packaging or they could be forced to do so by regulation.
Ben Bradshaw, the local Environment Minister said on Monday, “Unnecessary and excessive packaging and waste contributes to dangerous climate change . It also adds to the cost to local authorities and the public of managing waste .
“Until the supermarkets demonstrate clearly that they are willing to lead by example, we cannot expect consumers to get fully engaged with reducing their own waste .”
Mr Bradshaw told a news conference that regulation would be considered if retailers and producers did not voluntarily cut down food waste and packaging.
Supermarket retailers met with Mr Bradshaw to discuss plans of action, and to remind them of their pledge that was actually made over a year ago by companies, such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s .
In total 13 retailers pledged to ‘design out’ packaging waste by 2008 and to make waste reductions by March 2010.
Between 1999 and 2005 the total volume of packaging waste produced across Britain grew by 12 per cent. An estimated 60 per cent of all British food packaging is now recycled, at a cost of 1.5 billion.
Mr Bradshaw told reporters he has been impressed by the effort put in by the supermarket chain’s, which has so far seen a reduction in packaging waste of 35,000 tonnes.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme, known as Wrap, are a non profit agency funded by the government, which wants them to help cut waste by 160,000 tonnes by 2008, and 340,000 tonnes by 2010.

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