Food and drink manufacturers have achieved “substantial reductions” in the amount of waste sent to landfill, according to the latest results.

Published today (27 February) by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in its waste survey, the amount of food and packaging waste disposed fell to 3% in 2012 from 9% in 2009.

The FDF said the results showed “real progress” towards achieving its zero food and packaging waste to landfill target by 2015, one of the core aims of its Five-fold Environmental Ambition.

In a statement, the group claimed the vast majority of its members had already achieved the zero target.

According to the FDF, progress was made by redistributing waste to other areas, notably animal feed. In 2012, more than a quarter (28%) of waste was managed via recycling, increasing to 96% for used packaging.

Andrew Kuyk, director of sustainability at the FDF, said that tackling food waste was a key priority for the industry.

 Kuyk said:“Working in partnership with independent bodies such as WRAP and our partners across the supply chain, the industry has been able to ensure significant progress to reach these targets, enabling manufacturers to waste less or use any that is generated in a more environmentally friendly way.”

 Andy Dawe, head of food and drink at WRAP, added: “We are delighted to see these latest results, which show good progress from the industry. With waste to landfill now so low, businesses should grasp the opportunity to focus on the greater financial savings achievable through waste prevention.”