28 March 2017


A survey by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) has claimed retailers could reduce an estimated 350,000 tonnes of avoidable household food waste per year via changes to packaging and ‘Use By’ dates reports letsrecycle.com.

‘Two million tonnes of food thrown away’

Following the survey, WRAP has urged retailers to look at the labelling of food items to reduce waste and suggests that around 2 million tonnes of food are thrown away by households due to it ‘not being used in time’ – a third of which is based on date guidance issued by retailers.

Also according to a separate letsrecycle.com article if the packaging was removed from  the waste food most can be recycled, however one of the most common items for packaging – black trays– commonly used for ready meals and the like,  cannot  be recycled despite the use of modern  hi tech recycling equipment.

Mark Penny, Commercial Manager at J&B Recycling, said:  “This article confirms what has been known in the recycling for some time, that in the current format black trays should be classed as waste. But these trays could be adapted to make them easier recycle. Unfortunately however it seems   that retailers aren’t prepared to pay the extra 0.5p it would add to the cost to manufacture the trays in a way that would increase their recyclability”.

Because of these issues WRAP has now advised local authorities to classify black trays as residual or general waste.


Though black trays do cause a recycling headache, there have been improvements in tackling household waste thanks to technical changes in packaging labels.

The changes helped see a reduction in 15% of the 1 million tonne reduction in household food waste between 2007 and 2015 was achieved through innovations such as choice of date mark and freezing advice.

Since the first WRAP survey in 2009, there has been an almost complete removal of ‘Display Until’ dates used in combination either ‘Use By’ or ‘Best Before’ – which it claims had been a source of consumer confusion on almost 40% of packaged food items.

Article taken from the following sources: http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/retailers-urged-tackle-food-waste-via-labelling/


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