More than 90 per cent of the food and packaging waste in the UK generated at factories operated by members of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is now being recycled or recovered, according to a new survey published today by the trade association and Defra.
The survey shows that companies are on track to achieve their aim of sending no food or packaging waste to landfill by 2015 - one of the key commitments of FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition.
Of the 481,000 tonnes of food and packaging waste produced at 149 sites of FDF members in 2009, 435,000 tonnes (more than 90%) was recovered or recycled with only 43,000 tonnes (9%) sent to landfill - a significant improvement on data from previous years (16.5% was sent to landfill in 2006 and 12.5% in 2008). Furthermore, in 2008 and 2009, manufacturers prevented more than 340,000 tonnes of food from entering the waste stream by diverting it into other uses, notably animal feed.
Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at Defra, said: "We welcome the progress, demonstrated by this survey, that FDF members have made towards their ‘Five-Fold Environmental Ambition' target of sending zero food and packaging waste to landfill from 2015. This is an excellent example of businesses taking the lead in developing effective, sustainable ways of managing their waste."
Andrew Kuyk, FDF Director of Sustainability & Competitiveness, said: "These new evidence-based findings demonstrate beyond doubt that FDF members are making a significant contribution to improving the environment by targeting those areas where they can make the biggest difference. The results clearly show that our members are producing less waste at their sites and it is a great achievement that more than 90% of the waste that does arise is being recycled or recovered. The findings also support the work of the new coalition Government in its drive towards a zero waste economy."