Posted: 20 Dec 2011
In the run-up to Christmas, I’m even more conscious of the amount of waste our family has the potential to produce – from wrapping paper and envelopes, to gift packaging and food left-overs.
We try to keep all our recycling separate (and encourage our guests to do likewise!) and I know our recycling bin will be very full by the time Christmas is over. Most local authorities operate a ‘...
Posted: 5 Dec 2011
Who would have thought, back in early 2005 when WRAP first sat down in one of the meeting rooms at the Courtauld Gallery, with representatives from the world of food and drink, that today, we’d be examining the achievements not of the agreement hammered out then, but of its successor.
We launched the successor to that agreement, Courtauld Commitment 2 (CC2), in March 2010, moving away from the...
Posted: 21 Nov 2011
It was great to see so much coverage in the print and on-line media of our annual conference.
It seemed to stimulate plenty of debate, not only around the issue of reducing the amount of household food waste but also of how we can all make the most of opportunities of reuse. It was interesting to read people’s views. Not everyone was persuaded that throwing away food that’s perfectly...
Posted: 15 Nov 2011
Today’s an exciting day for us here at WRAP. This is because it’s the day of our annual conference, which I admit, probably doesn’t sound that exciting.
But on this occasion, it really is. Not only are we unveiling the results of our three-year business plan which show we beat all our headline targets, but we’re also releasing ground-breaking research into the benefits of reuse. And perhaps the...
Posted: 2 Nov 2011
Earlier this week, Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State for the Environment, unveiled plans for a new free-to-use website to enable people to opt out of receiving all types of unwanted advertising mail.
The new one-stop-shop approach will replace the current system, where households have to register on no less than three separate websites or apply by post, to stop different types of unwanted...
Posted: 24 Oct 2011
With the weather on the turn, and the clocks about to change, even the hardiest amongst us may be thinking about switching on the central heating (I have to confess I have already succumbed) and swapping to the winter high-tog duvet.
At the same time, the idea of a cold salad for lunch or supper begins to sound less than enticing, and hot food becomes much more the order of the day.
Here at WRAP...
Posted: 17 Oct 2011
Anyone who works for WRAP will tell you there’s never a shortage of work – there’s always something that needs doing and there’s never time to watch the clock and wonder why time is moving so slowly.
On the contrary, it more often seems to be a case of suddenly looking at your watch and being shocked to discover you should have gone home half an hour ago.
It’s true that every week is a busy...
Posted: 10 Oct 2011
Resource efficiency is one of those phrases we’re beginning to hear with increasing frequency around WRAP and beyond.
There are government and EU roadmaps, conferences, websites and all sorts dedicated to the theme. If you search on the phrase in Google, you’re presented with well over 2,000 items to trawl through.
It’s clearly a subject that is becoming increasingly visible, and I believe one...
Posted: 3 Oct 2011
Over the weekend, I spotted an abandoned washing machine by the roadside.
I’m not sure whether it was awaiting collection by the council, or if a householder had just dumped it there, and I was reminded how things have changed. In my parents’ day, if you owned goods like washing machines, cookers, fridges, radios and so on, you tended to hold onto them for years and years, only...
Posted: 26 Sep 2011
We spend a lot of time here at WRAP working with all kinds of companies, local authorities, charities, community groups and individuals, helping them look at the things they can do to waste less and save money.
If you’re a regular follower of WRAP, you’ll know too that we like to share the progress that’s been made by industry groups. Of course, it’s encouraging if we’re able to show that a...
Posted: 19 Sep 2011
It was interesting to observe last week’s media coverage of Defra’s announcement on changes to food packaging date labels.
WRAP’s view is that anything that can be done to help make food labelling information clearer for consumers is a step in the right direction, and most of the coverage seems to agree, at least in part, with that opinion.
More than one journalist made the point that it was...
Posted: 12 Sep 2011
It’s all too easy to cook too much food – as the cook, you don’t know how hungry people are going to be and you tend to err on the side of caution and over-cater.
WRAP has done a lot of research into the food we waste, so I was interested to learn about a new survey, commissioned by Unilever, into the topic of food waste in the hospitality sector.
According to the OnePoll research, two-thirds of...
Posted: 5 Sep 2011
I moved home last week but I have to confess, in spite of doing what I thought was a pretty good job of sorting through things before upping sticks, we still ended up with a huge number of boxes and bits of furniture to take with us. This was in spite of the fact that I’d spent a fair amount of time in the preceding weeks taking some items to charity shops for re-use and others to the...
Posted: 30 Aug 2011
Here’s a knotty post-bank holiday question for you: how much water is used to help make just one pair of jeans?
If you step right back to the start of the process, to the growing of the cotton from which the jeans will be made, the astonishing fact is that more than 10,000 litres of water will go into that single pair. To put this into context, according to Water UK, the average adult uses...
Posted: 22 Aug 2011
Slowing economic growth, fears of a spreading European debt crisis, stock market slumps – it all makes for a very depressing and uncertain summer as far as business is concerned.
For WRAP, a gloomy business environment brings its own challenges: how can we best respond to the changing economic climate and make sure we continue to deliver value for all our stakeholders.
Posted: 18 Aug 2011
I couldn’t let this week pass by without making mention of the sad passing of two influential characters from the world of recycling. Ray Anderson and Kit Strange both made great contributions to the debate and activities surrounding sustainability and all things recycling, and they will leave gaps that will be hard to fill.
Ray Anderson was founder of Interface and a long-time champion of...
Posted: 15 Aug 2011
Having recently come back from my honeymoon, watching the news coverage of the riots in cities around Britain certainly brought me back down to earth with a bump.
It must be heart-breaking for the affected communities to see their homes and businesses looted and vandalised, or worse - particularly for those who’ve put time and effort in improving and caring for their surroundings. Given the...
Posted: 8 Jul 2011
For those of you who are interested in the idea of reuse, I’d like to share something with you.
Next week I’m getting married and reuse features significantly in my wedding plans. That’s not just because I’m aware of the importance of re-use – it’s because the things I’m re-using are lovely and they have history and meaning to them.
Firstly, my engagement ring is reused....
Posted: 5 Jul 2011
I’ve just caught up with my colleague Marcus Gover, our Director responsible for Organics and Energy from Waste, who was at the opening of a new anaerobic digestion (AD) facility on Friday.
The facility at Langage Farm in Plymouth will turn food waste from around the county into the energy needed to produce the farm’s clotted cream, ice cream, crème fraiche and yoghurt.
Not good news for...
Posted: 22 Jun 2011
It’s just over a week now since I announced the details of our new Business Plan at the CIWM Conference in London.
Sharing our plans with so many knowledgeable and innovative members of the waste industry was a great opportunity. And there was plenty of really useful feedback when I spoke to delegates afterwards.
Many welcomed the fact that we had set ourselves such stretching...