The view from WRAP

  • 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...
  • Resources and Waste Strategy: A major step forward, with lots to do

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 17 Dec 2018
    There has been a lot of expectation that the Government’s long-awaited Resources and Waste Strategy would provide the right mix of cohesive policy and fiscal drivers to rejuvenate the resources sector and support the wider economy in England. At WRAP, we were clear that the Strategy had to deliver some fundamental changes to incentivise businesses, local government and citizens to do the...
  • WRAP’s first 18 years – saluting success and looking to the future

    By: Julie Hill, WRAP Chair Posted: 14 Dec 2018
    The first Chair of WRAP, Vic Cocker, thought that WRAP only needed to exist for a few years. The then Government had given WRAP a very specific job to do – find markets for the increasing quantity of recyclables being collected from households, as policy-makers aimed to push the UK up the European recycling league table. It worked – in 2000, at WRAP’s inception, household recycling was 11%, and...
  • Why we should be focusing on clothing as well as plastics

    By: Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 26 Nov 2018
    This month, I had the pleasure of attending a conference to hear first-hand from those far-sighted businesses who have signed up to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. Those who helped kick everything off in 2012 deserve real credit for being the early adopters to a holistic approach which addresses the entire life-cycle of textiles and clothing. They signed up for real change and there’s been...
  • Businesses leading the way in eco-innovation

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP Posted: 23 Nov 2018
    At WRAP, we have done a lot of work making the business case for sustainability; demonstrating how it is possible to strike the balance between what is good for a company’s profit line and for the planet.We believe that we have to shift from the linear make, use, dispose culture to a circular one which embeds sustainable production and consumption and prevents us from plundering the planet’s...
  • 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...