The view from WRAP

  • From farm to fridge: how we can all play our part in reducing milk waste

    By: Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 8 Nov 2018
    I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself: I’ve just tweaked the temperature control dial in our fridge. And it’s shocking to think that if every household made sure their fridges were no warmer than 5°C, the loss of milk in the UK each year would be cut by 50,000 tonnes. These lost ‘pintas’ cost a remarkable £25 million.WRAP has just completed a detailed analysis of the scale of milk wasted from...
  • ‘Bioplastics’: help or hindrance to achieving a circular plastics economy?

    By: Julie Hill, Chair, WRAP Posted: 2 Nov 2018
    The recent summit of The UK Plastics Pact aired many successes, but also some challenges, and one was the role of biodegradable and compostable plastics. The Pact target is for all packaging to be re-useable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The ability for plastic to join food or garden waste in a compost heap and return to the soil, or, if loose in the environment, to magically melt...
  • Courtauld: a model for the world to follow in the fight against food waste

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 31 Oct 2018
    In 2005, when we first embarked on our ambitious journey to tackle food and packaging waste in the UK through an expansive voluntary agreement which aimed to span the whole of the supply chain, there was a good helping of scepticism.How could we keep a huge, complex industry, often with competing interests, in an increasingly volatile economic environment, united under a single goal: to reduce...
  • Autumn Budget proposal to encourage recycled content in plastic packaging could be a game-changer

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 30 Oct 2018
    In tackling the complex issue of plastic pollution, WRAP has consistently said that any fiscal measures need to be part of a holistic response which aims to transform the entire plastics system in the UK. We have also long argued for incentives to boost the demand for packaging made from recycled content. Along with colleagues from INCPEN and the Advisory Committee on Packaging I led a...
  • 'It's the economy, stupid'. Or is it?

    By: Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 18 Oct 2018
    'It's the economy, stupid' was coined by Bill Clinton's election strategist, James Carville, in 1992 to emphasise the single most important issue to voters. The mantra became established thinking; the economy was thought to trump all other areas of policy. However, is that still the case? Do we care about money above everything else?Scientists have long warned of the serious risks of rising...
  • Six months on: The UK Plastics Pact delivering action

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 16 Oct 2018
    I was inspired and excited to see so much content, commitment and collaboration at the Summit we held to mark the first six months of The UK Plastics Pact on October 11th.We heard about the fantastic progress towards meeting the ambitious Pact  targets which has been already made members and supporters in just six short months. Progress which demonstrates a real commitment to act, and to act...
  • Britain recycles – because it matters

    By: Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP Posted: 27 Sep 2018
    It’s bin day. But there are no kerbside recycling collections today – or on any other day. And not just in our street or town. Across the country, there are no blue, green or brown bins. In the home or on-the go. Recycling, it seems, is dead.Bear with me on this, as it is obviously fiction: after all, this is written in Recycle Week, our annual celebration of the benefits of recycling. But what...
  • We’re on a road to halving food waste – now let’s drive it forward

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 25 Sep 2018
    This year we broke a new world record. But it wasn’t anything to celebrate.This year, Earth Overshoot Day fell on the earliest day of the year ever - since the world began recording the date it exceeded its available natural resources for the year, way back in the 1970s. Every day since Wednesday 1st August 2018 we’ve effectively been living on credit from the planet’s resources –...
  • The UK Plastics Pact 100 days: From ambition to action

    By: Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 6 Aug 2018
    The UK Plastics Pact was borne out of the unprecedented ‘perfect storm’ of concern, and subsequent determination, to tackle plastic pollution and the damage it was inflicting on our environment.100 days has passed since we launched our pioneering initiative which has brought together government, business and citizens under a collective ambition to transform the plastic system and keep plastic in...
  • Unprecedented appetite for change at RTF18

    By: Julie Hill, Chair, WRAP Posted: 15 Jun 2018
    The Resourcing the Future Conference is one of those events where I wish I could distill the collective expertise in the room and share it instantly with policy-makers in governments and decision-makers in businesses across the UK. Are compostable plastics good or bad? Carbon metrics better than weight-based? Need to know how to build markets for secondary materials, prevent waste crime or...
  • Social norms: the next step in improving recycling behaviours

    By: Sarah Clayton, Head of Citizen Behaviour Change Posted: 6 Jun 2018
    In the quest to improve recycling and beat the UK’s current plateau WRAP’s Recycle Now campaign team has explored new approaches and ideas for recycling communications. What we found has implications for how recycling should be communicated all over the UK.We started by examining the things that really drive individual in-home recycling behaviours. Drawing on insights from academic studies as...
  • Reform to regulations relating to packaging

    By: Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 15 May 2018
    The Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, recently invited WRAP, along with INCPEN (Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment) and Defra’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) to facilitate a series of cross-sector discussions to inform how the UK could respond to and reduce the environmental impact of the way we use and dispose of plastic.For the last two months, we...
  • The unintended consequences of a War on Plastic

    By: Peter Maddox Posted: 19 Apr 2018
    I remember when tax breaks were introduced to encourage drivers to switch to diesel cars. It was with the best of intentions, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions and address climate change. The action made a difference, but in choosing to focus on one environmental impact, it neglected another – air pollution.  In recent years, evidence has grown that other emissions from diesel engines, notably...
  • It’s time for us all to take more responsibility for our waste

    By: Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP Posted: 5 Mar 2018
    First published by 2Degrees NetworkThe time has come for the UK to take more responsibility for its own waste. We should do this not only because China has stopped accepting low quality waste imports, or because post-Blue Planet there is unprecedented will to prevent waste from polluting the environment, but because we have a duty to ensure our waste is dealt with responsibly, whether in the UK...
  • Open letter on Plastic Waste and Recycling Strategy

    By: Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 12 Feb 2018
    Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, recently invited WRAP to facilitate a series of cross-sector discussions to inform how the UK could respond and reduce the environmental damage caused by the way we use and dispose of plastic.In this open letter to key stakeholders, chief executive Marcus Gover reports back on the outcomes of the meetings and puts forward a comprehensive set...
  • Food waste measurement really counts

    By: Peter Maddox Posted: 8 Feb 2018
    I doubt many of us would just hand over our debit card at the register, enter the four-digit code, and then leave without first checking the bill. But that’s effectively what every food business that doesn’t measure its food waste is doing, every day.For food businesses, measuring food waste can help save you money and keep operations efficient. But knowing how, where and even when to start can...
  • Plastic: friend or foe?

    By: Peter Maddox, Director of Government Programmes Posted: 23 Nov 2017
    Sir David Attenborough recently called for the world to act on plastic, after witnessing its impacts on marine life during the filming of his latest stunning TV series Blue Planet II. And when we see images of a turtle chasing a plastic bag, a pelican feeding its chick a plastic meal, or a blanket of plastic trash choking the ocean, it’s easy to appreciate why people are increasingly concerned...
  • Putting the business case to the test

    By: Linda Crichton, Head of Resource Management Posted: 21 Nov 2017
    It’s just over a year since we launched the Framework for greater consistency in household recycling in England, and it’s been a busy one with lots of work going on behind the scenes across the recycling supply chain. A major piece of work has been putting the national business case to the test at the local level. This has enabled us to assess the viability and appetite for service changes...
  • Open letter on China's waste import restrictions

    By: Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 18 Oct 2017
    To:Ray Georgeson MBE, Chief Executive, Resource AssociationSimon Weston, Director of Raw Materials, Confederation of Paper Industries, Papermakers HouseSimon Ellin, Chief Executive, The Recycling AssociationJacob Hayler, Executive Director, Environmental Services AssociationCc:Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural...
  • Because it’s worth it!

    By: Peter Maddox, Director of Government Programmes Posted: 21 Sep 2017
    Many of us working in the waste and recycling industry know the economic and environmental value of recycling.  For the rest of the UK public however, it does not appear to be as clear.  That is despite the fact that items recycled from our homes and businesses can go on to have a new lease of life in new things bought and used by UK householders every single day.In our recent consumer...