WRAP provides update on projects
The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has released its 2015-16 annual review, summarising its achievements and performance over the last 12 months.
In June last year, WRAP released a five-year action plan ‘Resource Revolution: Creating the Future’, which aims to ‘create a revolution in the way that we use resources’ by working with businesses, governments and consumers to create the step-change needed to meet the demands of future generations.
In its annual review, WRAP looks at the progress it has made in four focus areas: food and drink; clothing and textiles; electricals and electronics; and resource management.
For each, WRAP divides actions into four main delivery mechanisms: the use of voluntary agreements, consumer campaigns, the charity’s expertise guiding external programmes and delivering international change.
Food and drink
The actions that WRAP carried out in the priority area of food and drink included:
- the launch of Courtauld 2025, a voluntary agreement with the aim of reducing food and drink waste and the greenhouse gas intensity of UK food and drink by 20 per cent in the next 10 years. So far, 103 organisations, 93 per cent of the UK food retail market, have signed up;
- the release of ‘Food futures’, a report outlining the risks to the UK food system over the next decade, which highlighted the need for a Flexible, Intelligent and Transparent (FIT) supply chain; and
- a good uptake of signatories to the voluntary Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA) which resulted in an estimated saving of £3.6 million from the reduction of food waste and increased the amount of edible food distributed by 47 per cent to 528 tonnes.
Clothing and textiles
Achievements in the clothing and textiles industry include:
- the reduction of water and carbon impacts by retailers signed up to Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP 2020) per tonne of clothing by 12.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively (though waste arisings have not fallen). SCAP 2020 has set 15 per cent reduction targets for water and carbon and 3.5 per cent for waste arising by 2020;
- two years into the programme, 84 organisations have signed up to the SCAP 2020 agreement, representing more than 50 per cent of UK retail sales by volume and value;
- the launch of the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), a €3.6-million (£3-million) pilot project to reduce the environmental impact of clothing across the supply chain. The aim of the project is to divert over 90,000 tonnes per year of clothing waste from landfill and incineration across Europe by March 2019.
Electricals and electronics
WRAP says it has made progress in the area of electricals and electronics including:
- increasing the amount of organisations signed up to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Sustainability Plan (esap) to 81; and
- advising Argos on implementing a new trade-in service for unwanted electronics. This started at a small number of stores and has now been expanded to 788 UK stores.
Actions taken by WRAP on resource management include:
- forming an advisory group to assess the potential costs and benefits of bringing greater consistency to recycling collections after a request from then-Resource Minister Rory Stewart (though Stewart’s drive to introduce harmonised systems seemed to cool following the meetings). A report into the group’s findings was expected to be published before Parliament’s summer recess, though this begins on Thursday;
- launching a refreshed version of Recycle Now, WRAP’s recycling advisory service, to coincide with Recycle Week 2015. This included the ‘Good to Know’ campaign and the introduction of new material themed campaigns designed to run throughout the year; and
- the release of the ‘Job Creation in the Circular Economy’ reports that predicted that supporting a move to a more circular economy would create a large number of jobs in London (40,000), Northern Ireland (13,000), and the EU (3 million) by 2030.
Reagrding the delay in the harmonisation project, a WRAP spokesperson said this week: “Following the ministerial reshuffle, the publication of our work on greater consistency in household recycling in England is now expected later this year. Improving consistency in household recycling is still very much a priority for WRAP and Defra and we continue to work closely in this area.”
Income almost halved in 2015/16
WRAP’s total income for 2015/16 was £26.8 million. This compared to £40.7 million the previous year. The majority of WRAP’s income from charitable activities in 2015/16 was in the form of grants, with grant income from central government reduced to £14.8 million from £19.6 million following the expected reductions in the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs's (Defra) programme. Following the 2015 Spending Review, the Defra programme has been confirmed at £12 million for 2016/17 and is expected to continue thereafter with funding in the range of £9 million – £10 million per annum.
The complete review can be read on the WRAP website.