The government announced last week that an estimated 6.7 million tonnes of household food and bakery waste is produced each year in the UK, which equates to approximately a third of all food shopping.

To help reduce the amount of food that is thrown away, a government organisation, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), is running a Love Food Hate Waste consumer campaign to encourage behavioural change. It is working with the UK food and bakery industry and organisations such as the Food Standards Agency to develop practical solutions.

Some of the solutions it proposes include: increasing the shelf life of products; using oxygen scavengers (small sachets placed inside packs to help extend product life by absorbing any oxygen); modified atmospheres (technique used for prolonging the shelf-life period); and resaleable packaging.

WRAP’s aim is to reduce consumer food waste by 100,000 tonnes by March 2008.

To reduce waste packaging sent to landfill, leading names in the food industry have also signed up to support another one of WRAP’s initiatives, the Courtauld Commitment. Signatories include Duchy Originals, Premier Foods Unilever, Northern Foods and the UK’s top 13 grocery retailers. Companies have pledged to stop packaging waste growth by 2008 and deliver packaging waste reductions by 2010.

WRAP will address British Baker’s Corporate Social Responsibility summit on 7 February in London. To book call Helen Law on 01293 846587.