The view from WRAP

  • Triangulating our way to a circular economy

    By: Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 3 Aug 2020
    Defra’s Waste Prevention Programme Review was published last week. It provides a summary of waste prevention activity in England from 2013-19, listing a vast array of programmes and their impacts. The review, covering food, clothing and electricals, suggests nearly 400,000 tonnes of waste have been prevented in total since 2013 as a result of actions taken by organisations collaborating with the...
  • Investment needed to supercharge food waste reduction in businesses and make them future proof

    By: Claire Kneller, Head of Global Food Posted: 29 Jul 2020
    How to survive is understandably the main priority for hard-hit businesses as they salvage what they can from the wreckage of lockdown. But those which go on to thrive will have used this unique moment to invest in changes to their business which hardwire in resilience to future shocks.Those who take a myopic view and shelve sustainability do so at their peril. The pandemic was a dress rehearsal...
  • My simple guide to wasting less food as lockdown lifts

    By: Sarah Clayton, Head of Citizen Behaviour Change Posted: 29 Jul 2020
    This week I was lucky enough to get my hair cut, in a real hair salon, with real people and everything! Aside from having my temperature checked before I was allowed in, hand sanitiser bottles everywhere, gaps between seating and hairdressers in plastic visors, it felt like a just a little bit of ‘normal’ after months of upheaval.As lockdown restrictions start to lift across the UK and we wonder...
  • Systemic change essential if we’re to combat problem plastics

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 27 Jul 2020
    When I started out in my career as a chemical engineer, personal protective equipment, or PPE, was what we wore in the lab when conducting hazardous experiments. After joining WRAP in 2007, PPE meant the steel toe-cap boots, high-vis jackets and hard hats of waste transfer stations and anaerobic digestion plants. I never imagined that one day I’d be wearing a mask to do something as everyday as...
  • Gearing up for Recycle Week – we need you to get on board

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 21 Jul 2020
    It’s sometimes felt as if life has been put on hold while the world tried to hold the onslaught of COVID-19 at bay. But, thankfully, some things have continued. Sometimes against all the odds. So, parks are still being kept tidy, streets are cleaned, and our bins are being emptied.I was delighted to hear recently that some councils are reporting that recycling has actually increased; some by as...
  • Why ‘build back better’ must be bigger than green growth

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 17 Jun 2020
    Life in the UK feels as though it’s moving to a new normal, with the reopening of non-essential retailers in Northern Ireland and England and the resulting queues on our high streets. But with socially distanced shops and empty football stadia and Royal Ascot stands it’s clear that this new normal is going to feel very different from the old one.As the economic life of the nation starts to...
  • Let’s work together to recalibrate our failing food system

    By: Dr Richard Swannell, Director, WRAP Global Posted: 22 May 2020
    WRAP has long known that interventions are most effective when they are rooted in evidence, and when they are collaborative. The past two months has only reinforced this. At the same time, more people are recognising that our global food system is harming our planet – and us.It is failing to feed the whole global population, as nearly a billion people don’t get enough to eat, whilst fuelling...
  • Food waste prevention in a time of pandemic

    By: Peter Maddox Posted: 21 May 2020
    By Peter Maddox, Director WRAP and Anne Bordier, Charity Programmes Director, IGDFollowing nearly two decades of research and innovation, the UK has become a world leader in the field of food waste prevention, with businesses across the supply chain truly committed to tackling this important issue. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upon us, more immediate business priorities are rightly...
  • A short space of time but a long distance travelled in the road towards a world free of plastic pollution

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 15 May 2020
    One of my last engagements before lockdown was in Brussels to join an impressive cast of politicians and business leaders at the launch of the European Plastics Pact; for which WRAP will provide the secretariat.It was the latest in a string of similar high-profile Plastic Pact launch events which have taken place around the world – including in France, Chile, the Netherlands, South Africa, and...
  • A reported drop in food waste gives us real hope for the future

    By: Sarah Clayton, Head of Citizen Behaviour Change Posted: 5 May 2020
    Like everyone, I’ve been adapting to my new life in lockdown. With continued concerns about loved ones combined with entertaining an energetic toddler whilst working from home, it’s not been without challenge, but now that we’re in week eight of this new reality I’m starting to find some kind of rhythm.Part of that rhythm involves mealtimes. I’m at home for lunch more than ever before since the...
  • The impact of Covid-19 on the UK recycling supply chain

    By: Peter Sainsbury, Lead Economist at WRAP Posted: 30 Apr 2020
    The global economy normally works like a massive flywheel. Finely tuned, it is optimised for ‘just in time’ delivery. Of course, it goes through cycles in which activity runs too hot, followed by periods where things take a turn for the worse. As coronavirus spread across the globe since the start of 2020, so have a wave of lockdowns. Measures to restrict the spread of the covid-19 have...
  • An opportunity not to be wasted?

    By: Marcus Gover Posted: 24 Apr 2020
    Last weekend, promoting what promises to be another seminal piece of work coming out later this year, Sir David Attenborough, when asked by Andrew Marr on the one thing we could all do to help protect our planet, replied: “Stop waste stop waste of any kind; stop wasting power, stop wasting food, stop wasting plastic. Don’t waste. This is a precious world, to celebrate and cherish.” Waste –...
  • Harnessing the power of public procurement

    By: Carl Nichols Posted: 24 Apr 2020
    The importance of the circular economy, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, is now recognised more widely than ever.  Most people in Wales are recycling, and manufacturers are responding to public mood by increasing the use of recycled materials in their products.As well as supporting manufacturers to increase the amount of recycled content in the goods they produce in...
  • Nothing can be taken for granted these days

    By: Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 16 Apr 2020
    When, in common with millions, I applaud the NHS every Thursday, my uppermost thought is what it must mean to be a doctor, nurse or care worker ‘on the frontline’. Although we may currently be ‘isolated’ as individuals, I can’t remember a time when we’ve been so connected to the efforts of others – and that includes many other critical workers, such as the dedicated people working for local...
  • WRAP’s response to a changing world

    By: Julie Hill, WRAP Chair Posted: 15 Apr 2020
    The principal duties of a board of trustees are to protect the organisation’s mission, and to understand the needs of the people striving to deliver the mission. As WRAP’s Chair, it is from this perspective that I view the current crisis.Front of mind is the gravity of the situation, and the suffering, uncertainty and anxiety it presents. On top of which, ‘working from home’, which sounds...
  • COVID-19: What opportunities will emerge in the aftermath of this global crisis?

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 3 Apr 2020
    I went out for my rationed exercise cycle as usual today. It is eerily serene - no cars on the roads; the birds are singing; the rabbits are nibbling the grass; the spring blossom is starting to emerge – as if they have reclaimed the space.At the same time, it feels threatening and unnerving. A silent enemy is stalking the streets. And so, we have to do the thing which feels most alien to social...
  • Banking on the food sector to help those in need

    By: Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 3 Apr 2020
    Daily life has changed beyond anything I could have imagined barely a month ago. Coronavirus has had a huge impact on all of us, from children being home-schooled through to vulnerable older people who need someone to do their shopping for them so they can stay safe at home. I’m so grateful to all those key workers who are keeping the country running, from the Police to the NHS. And that includes...
  • Making food last longer

    By: Peter Maddox; Director WRAP UK Posted: 27 Mar 2020
    We’re all in this together and, in the Maddox household, that’s me, my wife, our 23-year-old son and our 20-year-old daughter – plus Molly the puppy who is a challenge worth a blog on her own.The other day, my daughter and I were peering into the fridge, wondering what to have for lunch, when she held back from grabbing an apple and said, ‘Actually, I think I’ll have the yoghurt as that’s going...
  • Collaboration, commitment and courage. The ingredients we need to tackle food waste and achieve UNSDG 12.3.

    By: Dr Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP Posted: 12 Mar 2020
    Our global food system is a story of both abundant success and dismal failure.On one side booming crop production and year-round consumer choice. The other of failing harvests, hunger and waste. It’s a business model which no self-respecting CEO would tolerate.The cost to people is enormous. Malnutrition is the biggest cause of ill-health in the world. According to the 2018 Global Nutrition...
  • Innovating for greener packaging

    By: Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK Posted: 24 Feb 2020
    I always enjoy a trip to Birmingham. It’s not difficult to imagine what it must have been like when the city was the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution; the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ as it was named, where creativity and innovation were treasured and nurtured. It must have been a fantastically stimulating place to be.Not only did it spawn a network of small workshops where specialised and...