Only 3% of food and packaging waste was disposed in landfill in 2012, compared to 16.5% in 2006, according to figures from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
A recent FDF waste survey, published jointly with WRAP, reveals the waste management improvements food and drink manufacturers are making year on year.
In 2006 16.5% of food and packaging waste was sent to landfill and this was reduced to 12.5% in 2008 and to 9% in 2009.
In 2012, manufacturers prevented 250,000 tonnes of food from entering the waste stream by redistributing it to other uses, notably to animal feed.
Recycling showed a significant increase with 28% of all waste managed in this way, increasing to 96% for used packaging alone.
Andrew Kuyk, director of sustainability at the FDF, said: “Tackling food waste is a key priority for our industry, both to make what we have go further but to also help conserve the natural resources on which future production depends. These latest findings highlight that FDF members are close to achieving our zero food and packaging waste target by ingraining good environmental practices to deliver a more resilient and resource efficient supply chain.”
Michael Bennett of specialist packaging PR and communications consultancy Pelican said: “This is significant progress but there is clearly a lot more to be done. Communications has a vital role to play in continuing to drive changes in behaviour.”
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