U.K. Waste Program Cuts Packaging Waste by 176 Million Pounds

U.K. Waste Program Cuts Packaging Waste by 176 Million Pounds

Over the last two years, the U.K. Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) has met the majority of its goals to reduce landfill waste, increase recycling, boost composting and cut greenhouse gas emissions through programs with consumers, businesses and governments.

WRAP's Business Plan 2006-08: Impact Review highlights its achievements, including reducing grocery packaging waste by 176 million pounds a year, mainly through efforts to use less materials in packaging.

Through its Glassrite projects, WRAP has worked with companies to make lighter containers or reduce the size of containers. Beer brewer Marston's made its 500ml bottle 22 percent lighter, and Scottish & Newcastle now pours its cider into bottles 14 percent lighter than previous containers.

On the packaging-shrinking side of efforts, Tesco has turned to double concentrated drinks, replacing swapping 3 liter bottles for 1.5 liter bottles made with recycled PET, a 46 percent weight savings.

Along with reducing waste, WRAP is working to make more recycled material available, and was able to spur a 10 percent growth in the recycling sector through funding and technical help for industry and awareness programs for consumers and local governments. The manufacturing sector now uses an additional 485 million pounds of recycled material a year, and, just this summer, Closed Loop London opened a plant that recycles old HDPE milk bottles into new, food-grade milk bottles.

In the construction industry, WRAP's efforts have diverted almost 7 billion pounds of construction waste from the trash, and overall, from 2006 to 2008, WRAP has helped keep more than 10 billion pounds of waste from landfills a year.