WRAP wants nationwide action on new targeted food waste approach

WRAP is calling for local and national organisations to join it in taking joined-up action to help residents cut food waste as it starts a new phase in the organisation’s consumer food waste prevention strategy.

Chief Executive Marcus Gover made the announcement while giving the keynote speech at the RWM Exhibition yesterday (13 September).

The new phase will focus on using multiple partner action to bring about change, and bringing a targeted approach to food waste prevention.

WRAP called for greater unity in the fight against food waste in January after figures showed that £13 billion of edible food was needlessly thrown away from homes in 2015.

Since then, Gover says WRAP has devoted time to refocusing and researching the triggers for household food waste, with the resulting insights helping to create the more targeted approach, which he says the organisation wants to share with networks and organisations.

Initial focus, he says, will be on two common behaviours in the home that can create food waste: overpurchasing and poor storage.

Gover explained: “We’ve had good success with Love Food Hate Waste and a broad-brush approach in the past, cutting household food waste by 12 per cent, but it’s clear we need to concentrate on the finer details now.

“A new approach is required, and we’ve developed a more targeted phase in our strategy for specific behaviours and foods through more precise understanding of the subtleties at play.”

To begin with, WRAP will seek to engage with the 18-34 age group. Turbulent life events like moving from the family home, taking initial steps in the career ladder and starting families can be triggers for food waste, as well as busy lifestyles leading to ever-changing arrangements, helping, Gover says, to make the age group more wasteful than others.

‘Ambitious catalytic approach’

Figures released by WRAP at the beginning of the year states that the carbon impact of the 7.3 million tonnes of household food waste, up four per cent from 7.0 million in 2012, is equivalent to the emissions generated by a quarter of the cars on UK roads.

Gover said that the ‘ambitious catalytic approach’ WRAP is taking to the problem of household food waste and call for united efforts is “lighting the blue touch paper and igniting national action.” 

He added that the next phase of WRAP’s strategy is a significant moment in the food waste fight, which will see WRAP convene a food summit in Winter. This will bring together a wide range of partners to share insights, develop a unified vision of success and co-create solutions.

WRAP is also preparing a series of toolkits comprising consumer insights and communications materials, which partners can adapt for their own use in their own campaigns. 

Gover told delegates at the conference: “We’re creating the space and providing the tools for a co-created plan of action and catalyse collaborative change on a massive scale. It’s a new way of working for WRAP, but one we believe is necessary to galvanise real change.

“Household food waste reduction has plateaued and it’s clear to me that with many organisations and individuals working on isolated projects, we need to bring these separate strands together to form stronger ties, and joined-up action to stop food waste.”

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