A report produced by the environmental agency WRAP, in July 2011, estimated that the food service industry wastes £724 million in food and drink alone every year. One year on, Wrap has just announced that 28 of the largest foodservice companies in the UK have committed to reducing waste by 5% over the next three years.
Drawing on expertise from within the sector and from different UK governmental departments, WRAP’s Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement has gained the support of around 15% of the industry in the UK, including some of the largest food suppliers in the wholesale business. Between them, they hope to reduce their carbon footprint in the supply process by 234,000 tonnes.
This will be achieved by a combination of more efficient packaging and less food waste, with a goal of increasing the overall recycling rate from the present 47% to 70% by the end of 2015 through anaerobic digestion or composting.
The British Hospitality Association and the Sustainable Restaurant Association are among catering organisations supporting the agreement, while McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizzas and Greggs are among the best known names representing high street interest.
Since it was formed in 2000, WRAP has had considerable success with its very collaborative approach to its work across a wide spectrum of sectors, from government departments to individual households. Although the agreement is voluntary, WRAP intends to extend that collaborative ethos and will be helping each of the signatories to achieve its target towards the collective goal with an individual implementation plan.