The view from WRAP

  • My first three years at the helm of WRAP – successes against challenging backdrop

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 2 Aug 2019
    I was watching the commemorations of the first Moon landing recently. I do just about remember watching the actual thing, although I was very small then. Those pictures of the earth from space remind me of what an amazing planet we have. It still blows my mind that it is only our planet that has allowed life to flourish and evolve into the wonderful biosphere that we have. Billions of years of...
  • A sustainable future: how we all need to search our souls to find the solutions – before it’s too late

    By: Peter Maddox Posted: 18 Jul 2019
    Keynote speech delivered by Director of WRAP UK Peter Maddox at the Packaging News Environmental Packaging Summit: London, July 16 2019I was at my son’s graduation yesterday. It’s always a proud moment for any parent. As your child stands on the threshold of their adult life you can sit there thinking you’ve done your job in preparing them for the future.But it made also made me reflect on what...
  • How we can all be Global Food Champions

    By: Richard Swannell, Director, WRAP Global Posted: 19 Jun 2019
    This year’s line-up for the BBC Food Chain’s Global Food Champion illustrates the complex challenge we face in tackling our unsustainable and inequitable global food system. Spiritual leader Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was relaxing after a feast at his temple near Calcutta when he heard a commotion out of his window. Looking out he saw children fighting with dogs over scraps of food. He...
  • How do we keep positive in a doom-laden world?

    By: Julie Hill, WRAP Chair Posted: 11 Jun 2019
    Last year, I was honoured to be invited to join the Speakers for Schools programme. Founded by journalist Robert Peston, the scheme matches speakers from all areas of life with school students of a variety of ages, to great mutual advantage in terms of understanding each other’s agendas. In recent months we have seen the emergence of young people as a powerful voice in the climate and...
  • The UK Plastics Pact One Year On: Foundations are laid; let’s build on them

    By: By Marcus Gover CEO, WRAP Posted: 21 May 2019
    The UK Plastics Pact One Year On: Foundations are laid; let’s build on themAll of us gathered at the launch of The UK Plastics Pact last year  – politicians, business leaders and my colleagues at WRAP - were aware of the unique opportunity we had to redefine our relationship with this material which had become part of our daily lives. And to fix forever the broken plastic packaging system...
  • Resources and waste policy: the need for joined-up thinking

    By: Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 17 May 2019
    I had a timely and welcome opportunity this week to set out WRAP’s approach to sustainable packaging – only a day or two after the four government consultations on resources and waste policy closed. I was a witness at the first hearing of The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee’s Inquiry into plastic food and drink packaging. The topic was quite specific, but it raised many of...
  • Food waste is an unpalatable truth we all have to confront

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 15 May 2019
    In the sunshine of the courtyard at the V&A Museum on Monday a diverse crowd of scientists, business leaders, politicians, councillors, campaigners, academics and restaurateurs gathered to enjoy a feast of leftovers cooked up by a star-studded cast of celebrity chefs. It was the perfect prelude to the ‘Step up to the Plate’ Food Symposium organised this week by the Food Surplus and Waste...
  • Can any ONE change the world?

    By: By Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 7 May 2019
    You’d have to be living on another planet not to have been aware of the current focus in the UK on the future of our own planet. Of the many questions raised over climate change, one affects us all: can we as individuals make any difference? If so, what can, and should we do? The answers lie in a cocktail of politics, science and good-old gut reaction.Three recent events last month stand out for...
  • Fashion Revolution? How clothing is the new plastic

    By: Julie Hill, WRAP Chair Posted: 30 Apr 2019
    Even in a normal week, the gathering of very stylish people at the V&A under the banner of ‘Fashion Revolution’ might have attracted a good amount of attention. As it was, given the Extinction Rebellion protests and with Greta Thunberg visiting the UK, the subject of sustainable fashion had huge visibility and became part of the bigger conversation. The debate around our fashion consumption...
  • Another year over, but already looking forward to next season…

    By: Peter Maddox Posted: 23 Apr 2019
    As I settled down to watch the Man City vs Tottenham Champions League match the other night, where Tottenham started the match one-nil up on aggregate, I began to think about what it is like to start a match with an advantage. Certainly, in the year since I took the role of Director of WRAP UK, a new business unit within WRAP which brought together our government-focused and business-focused...
  • On World Water Day: collaboration is the only way to tackle the urgent crisis of water scarcity

    By: Peter Maddox; Director WRAP UK Posted: 22 Mar 2019
    I can’t think of many locations in film which are quite as evocative as the sweeping landscapes of Lawrence of Arabia. They were partly filmed in Morocco, a country I am excited to finally discover this week.As always, though, the romantic in me has been tempered by my scientist alter-ego. Because I am learning that behind all the exotic charms of this beautiful country, there lies a more bleak...
  • WEEE and Us – a Critical Issue

    By: Julie Hill, WRAP Chair Posted: 19 Mar 2019
    Like me, you probably have a drawer in your house filled with redundant tech: vintage phones, unidentifiable chargers, cables that sometimes work but sometimes don’t. Collectively known as WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment), it may include that old laptop that you may just need. Or the old laptop that you’d love to give away, but are worried about the data it holds. ...
  • As we mark ’12.3 Day’: my pledge to eliminate food waste in WRAP’s workplaces

    By: Marcus Gover Posted: 12 Mar 2019
    Most employees will eat at least one meal at work during their day. Despite our best intentions, eating ‘on the go’ can be challenging and many will recognise the temptation to fall into bad habits in the food we buy, and generating food waste.As experts in food sustainability, we’re probably more tuned into our habits than a lot of other people at WRAP, but that didn’t mean that the odd piece of...
  • House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (Fixing Fashion)

    By: Peter Maddox Posted: 19 Feb 2019
    Today’s report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (Fixing Fashion) is a welcome appraisal of the situation regarding clothing; how we make and use our clothes. The report makes damning reading from a social and environmental perspective, focussing on fashion’s contribution towards climate change and plastic pollution, and it should serve as a wake-up call to every consumer....
  • Office for Environmental Protection

    By: Julie Hill, WRAP Chair Posted: 15 Feb 2019
    Governance post-EU exit is a national conversation, and there are radical implications for how environmental governance will be conducted.Draft clauses for the Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill were published on 19 December. They aim to enshrine environmental principles, including the ‘polluter pays’ and ‘precautionary’ principles, in English law. A new Office for Environmental...
  • New report serves up savings for restaurants in reducing food waste

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 14 Feb 2019
    These are lean times for the restaurant industry.According to a recent study by accountants Price Bailey, the number of restaurant insolvencies has reached a record high, with an average of four closing every day. A range of factors, they say, including market saturation, rising costs and changing consumer spending habits, are all combining to put pressure on the sector.Which is why the release...
  • How we might change the Food System for good

    By: Richard Swannell, Director WRAP Global Posted: 7 Feb 2019
    As the world’s most powerful leaders assembled in the snowy climes of Davos last month, the talk on everyone’s lips was what UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the elite forum was “the defining issue of our time”: climate change.A World Economic Forum survey ahead of the meeting said it was the leading concern of participants across the globe. Speakers lined up to rally the crowd to take...
  • Courtauld 2025 Summit 2019: A chance to reflect and refresh

    By: Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 5 Feb 2019
    On the train going to the annual Courtauld 2025 Summit in Birmingham last week, I was reflecting on the growing public consciousness about the impact that the current global food system is having on our own health and the health of the planet. The emerging consensus that this is no longer sustainable was neatly echoed in the title of the UK Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy’s dedicated...
  • The Resources and Waste Strategy: The Cobra Effect and Policy Making

    By: Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 18 Jan 2019
    I was talking to an economist friend over a drink last weekend, and he told me about the Cobra Effect. It is based on an amusing tale from Delhi in the 19th Century.Concerned at the huge number of venomous cobras in the city, officials sought to control and reduce the excessive population by offering a bounty to be paid for every dead cobra returned to the authorities. Locals responded with...
  • 2019: new year, new ambitions and a new Resources and Waste Strategy

    By: Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 21 Dec 2018
    The government’s Resources and Waste strategy has been welcomed by the recycling sector. Ambitious and radical, there are some eye-catching policies: businesses and manufacturers will pay the full net cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste; shoppers will be charged an up-front deposit when buying drinks in single-use containers; it will be easier for people to know what they can...