Environmental packaging fund launched

Environment Minister Elliot Morley launched an £8 million fund to stimulate innovative packaging design this week.

The Waste Minimisation Innovation Fund aims to significantly reduce the amount of post-consumer household food and packaging waste. Research undertaken by WRAP, which manages the fund, shows that over 40% of all household waste that ends up in landfill originates from purchases from supermarkets and convenience stores.

The new fund aims to reduce this by 310,000 tonnes - the equivalent of the total amount of household waste collected in Birmingham annually - by March 2006. WRAP is working with major retail partners and their supply chains to deliver this change.

"Many consumers are becoming aware of how much rubbish they are generating. They are recycling more and more, but there is relatively little they can do to control how the goods they buy are presented and packaged," said Jennie Price, Chief Executive of WRAP. "Supermarkets and their supply chains have a major influence on what ends up in the household dustbin, and WRAP is looking forward to working with them to develop innovative products and packaging to reduce waste."

These projects are also designed to help retailers reduce their production, storage and transportation costs.

David Reid, Non-Executive Chairman of Tesco and Vice President of Grocery Distribution said: "I welcome and support WRAP's Innovation Fund. Innovation is key to growth and profitability for both retailers and suppliers and this fund will help us to develop new packaging and product designs whilst also minimising household waste."

The fund also has the support of the British Retail Consortium and the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment.

By David Hopkins




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