Wrap examines packaging waste in retail supply chain

Waste & Resources Action Programme is on the hunt for participants for a research project that will examine the amount of packaging waste produced by the UK retail sector and its supply chain.

The Government-funded organisation, which helps businesses and local authorities reduce waste and recycle more, is expected to start work on the research next month.

Wrap retail supply chain manager Charlotte Henderson says, ‘We are looking for retailers as well as manufacturers, and already have a number of organisations through the Courtauld Commitment on developing this sectoral data set, but we would welcome participants in the grocery and home-improvement retail sectors, as well as the supply chain.’

‘For the design sector, [the challenge is] thinking about the packaging used throughout the distribution chain, looking at elements like damage rates and how packaging can add to product shelf life. This is the sort of thing we hope to identify from this,’ she adds.

The data from the project, which will run up until July, with results to be published in the autumn, will be aggregated, according to Henderson.

‘The data is going to be aggregrated rather than looking at separate brands. It’s about looking at how much waste is generated and where it’s generated, be it packaging, food or product, and working with the sector on how to reduce, developing a robust baseline from which to monitor and outline where the prorities are,’ says Henderson.

Once the research is complete, best practice guidance and case studies will be developed, and the data will be converted into equivalent cost, water, energy and carbon savings.

The data will also be linked up with Wrap’s household food and packaging waste data giving a whole life perspective.

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