WRAP to roll out 'money saving' scheme to 10 cities

Published: 6 Feb 2014

A food waste communications campaign which WRAP claims to have saved the West London Waste Authority up to £8 for every £1 of investment, is set to be rolled out in 10 cities across the UK. 
The roll out was announced today (February 5) by Dr Liz Goodwin, WRAP's chief executive, at the Fresher for Longer conference which took place in London. Fresher for Longer falls under the Love Food Hate Waste campaign and educates consumers about how to maximise the shelf life of food to reduce wastage. 
The decision to roll out the campaign comes even though WRAP itself has cast doubt on the validity of the financial benefits measured in West London. 
In the past, WRAP has revealed that its findings were based on a select survey with specific members of the public who might have cut their food waste because they were taking part in the survey (see letsrecycle.com story). 
Addressing the audience at today's event, Dr Goodwin claimed that WRAP will continue to prioritise food waste despite the organisation "evolving to diversify its funding base" as it scopes out the possibility of attaining charity status (see letsrecycle.com story). 
Commenting on the new campaign, Dr Goodwin said: "Last year a recent Love Food Hate Waste campaign run by the London Waste and Recycling Board, GLA, WRAP and the West London Waste Authority helped residents reduce avoidable food waste by 14% in just six months, saving up to £8 for the Authorities for every £1 spent on the campaign. A welcome return on investment in these difficult times. 
"Over the next 2 years, this model will be rolled out by WRAP across 10 cities nationwide, creating more opportunities for significant food waste reductions in the UK. We will be talking to local authorities in those areas identified, along with retailers and brands to come together to deliver the campaigns making a real difference to communities and levels of food waste across the country." 
At present the local authorities, retailers and brands involved have not been finalised but WRAP said the cities involved would be "highest population areas" to ensure the campaign has the biggest possible impact. 
Also speaking at the event, resource minister Dan Rogerson highlighted the savings consumers and councils could reap by wasting less food. He said: "In the UK annual households food waste has decreased by 15%, or 1.3 million tonnes, since 2007 but UK householders still waste about £12.5 billion a year, which is about £50 a month for the average family. £6.7 billion is due to food not used in time and we think this is due to avoidable food waste, food which wasn't eaten when it could have been. The rest of this food waste we think of as unavoidable such as bones, tea bags and so on which will always have to dispose of. 
"That food waste means that we might have fewer pounds in our pockets than we might have and the energy and water used to produce the food have been wasted and the transportation and packaging costs have been wasted. What happens to wasted food can also have significant financial and environmental costs and my colleagues in local government are very much aware of them." 
He added that packaging has an important role to play in reducing the amount of food wasted and that the whole supply chain has a part to play by helping to use resources more efficiently. 
Summing up Mr Rogerson said: "I would heartily encourage retailers, councils and others to be fully committed in delivering the Fresher For Longer campaign. It is innovative, it seeks to minimise food waste and save both money and valuable resources for consumers, industry and tax payers alike." 
WRAP has set an ambition to reduce food waste arisings by 50% by 2025. Dimitra Rappou, from the North London Waste Authority, questioned Mr Rogerson as to why the government did not use the Waste Prevention Plan to set a target for food waste reduction. 
In response, Mr Rogerson said that it was the government's preferred approach not to set targets. He said: "There has been an approach across government not to set targets and to focus on outcomes and the objectives that we have set. 
"That is the potential benefit there is for us to achieve and to tackle that amount of food that is wasted. Rather than to set a target which could or might act as a sort of distorting mechanism we chose to look at lots of multiple outcomes that we want to achieve. As a minister given the great number of responsibilities I have and the limited amount of money we have as a government to do things, increasingly we have to look at achieving multiple outcomes with one bit of money." 
Courtesy of letsrecycle.com: http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/compost/wrap-to-roll-out-2018money-saving2019-scheme-to-10-cities

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