WRAP launches food waste recycling plan for England
A new five-point action plan aimed at improving household and commercial food waste recycling and collection was launched by WRAP today (7 July) in Birmingham.
The Food Waste Recycling Action Plan was launched at an Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) event Birmingham and acts as England’s first blueprint to tackling food waste that encompasses local authorities, waste treatment operators, industry bodies and private sector waste collectors. It will aim to promote greater collaboration within supply chains in order to reduce 10 million tonnes of “post-farm gate” food waste created every year.
The five-step plan will look to develop the business case for recycling food waste, before optimising collection methods, communicating with households and producers on way to reduce waste, ensuring that produce and collection is highly efficient and that any new contracts work.
WRAP’s recently-appointed chief executive Marcus Gover said: “Preventing food waste sits at the heart of what WRAP does, but after we’ve done all we can to prevent and redistribute it, the focus has to shift to recycling. There are significant volumes of food waste still ending up in the residual waste stream. This is a massive loss of resources.
“The action plan recognises the shared interests and common benefits to collecting and recycling more of the food waste we can’t prevent and avoid. This can only be realised by the sector working together. The plan provides the road map for industry to do just that and I urge everyone to take a look at it and see what they can do.”
Members of the new action plan hope that increasing recycling volumes will bring in economic benefits alongside rejuvenating England’s plateauing recycling rates. ADBA will seek to incorporate anaerobic digestion and composting capacity as a means to create renewable energy and fertiliser – reducing a portion of the 20 million tonnes of carbon produced by food waste annually in the process.
The five-step plan could provide a much needed boost to tackle food waste, an issue that has grown so prominent that global standards have been developed to alleviate environmental issues. The plan could rival Scotland’s goal to reduce the nation's food waste by one third over the next nine years - a plan that would save businesses and households across the country more than £500m if successful.
Defra’s resources minister Rory Stewart said: “A staggering 10 million tonnes of food waste is thrown out every year. Not all of this food waste can be prevented or redistributed and this is where the food waste recycling sector has an important role to play in reducing the amount that goes to landfill.
“The growth of the food waste recycling in the UK is a real success story, but more can be done. I welcome the Action Plan, showing how by working together, industry, government, businesses and local authorities can drive up the amount of unavoidable, inedible food waste that is recycled, helping our environment and boosting our economy.”