FDF member waste survey reports zero food & packaging waste to landfill

Results just published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and WRAP show that FDF members participating in the latest waste survey reduced the amount of food and packaging waste sent to landfill to effectively zero in 2015 (<0.1%) of total waste arisings.

On the basis of these results, FDF has achieved its Five-Fold Environmental Ambition (FEA) target to send zero food and packaging waste to landfill by the end of 2015 at the latest.

Based on survey responses, this indicates around 96.6% of the total food processed was sold as intended, with around a further 1% redistributed to people or diverted to animal feed and the remaining 2.4% underwent some form of waste treatment.

Between the first survey year in 2006 and 2015, it is estimated that FDF members diverted approximately 800,000 tonnes of food and packaging waste from landfill.

The current levels of food waste prevention (including redistribution to people and diversion to animal feed), and management reported through this survey is broadly in line with WRAP's estimate for the industry as a whole.

The survey revealed that the biggest barriers to increasing the volumes of food redistributed to humans were the unsuitability of materials, concerns related to brand integrity and historic arrangements which favour diversion to animal feed.

The results from this survey will help inform the activities FDF intends to take under the successor to the FEA - Ambition 20255. These include taking further actions to reduce food waste from farm to fork as well as maintaining the zero-waste-to-landfill achievement. As a signatory to the WRAP Courtauld Commitment 2025, we will also use the lessons from this survey to help inform our and others' contribution to the target to reduce UK food waste by 20% by 2025 per capita based on a 2015 baseline.

Helen Munday, FDF's Director of Food Safety, Science & Sustainability and Chief Scientific Officer, said, “I am delighted to report that we have achieved our target to send zero-waste-to-landfill under the FEA ambition by 2015 at the latest.

'We now need to focus our attention on maintaining this achievement under Ambition 2025, along with other actions we plan to take to reduce food waste at all stages along the value chain in accordance with the food waste hierarchy.”

Dr David Moon, Head of Food Sustainability, WRAP, said, “FDF and its members have long been an integral part of our work to reduce the environmental impact of food and drink through their involvement in the Courtauld Commitment, and we are delighted that they have achieved their goal of zero food and packaging waste to landfill by 2015.

'This impressive achievement has taken a lot of hard work by members and shows what can be achieved by working together, and how motivated the sector is long-term through both Ambition 2025 and Courtauld 2025.”