Coca-Cola, Nestle and Cadbury Schweppes are among nine high street names that have signed the government-backed Courtauld Commitment packaging reduction agreement.

In doing so they have pledged to halt packaging waste growth by next year, deliver cuts by 2010 and find ways to reduce our annual food waste total of 6.7million tonnes – one third of the food we buy.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of anti-waste champions Waste and Resources Action Programme, which made the announcement last Friday June 15, called it “good news for the consumer and the environment”.

She said: “In addition to the obvious environmental benefits that reduced packaging waste brings, consumers will have less packaging to carry home from the supermarket and more space in their bins. Packaging reduction also delivers cost savings to business.

“With the addition of these new signatories, the Courtauld Commitment is an even more powerful vehicle for change.”

Britvic, Dairy Crest, Duchy Originals, Masterfoods, McBride and Premier Foods complete the nine and join existing signatories Heinz, Unilever, Northern Foods and the UK’s top 13 grocery retailers.

Melanie Leech, director general of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), welcomed the announcement.

She said: “FDF members are working proactively with their food chain partners to minimise packaging, reduce food waste and increase recycling as a sustainability priority.

“I am delighted to see that more of our members have now decided to support the Courtauld Commitment joining Heinz and Unilever that did so last year.”

Alex Cole, Cadbury Schweppes corporate responsibility director, said: “Helping the public reduce the amount of packaging that they throw away plays an important part in taking action on sustainable use of resources and climate change.

David Gibbs

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