Leading names in the baking industry are the latest to sign up to the government-backed Courtauld Commitment, which is an action plan designed to reduce the amount of wasted packaging.

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) has announced that the new signatories include Duchy Originals and Premier Foods.

They have pledged to stop packaging waste growth by 2008, deliver packaging waste reductions by 2010 and identify ways to reduce the 6.7m tonnes of food waste that is sent to landfill sites every year.

Companies such as Unilever, Northern Foods and the UK’s top 13 grocery retailers have already signed the Courtauld Commitment. A spokesperson for Duchy Originals said: "We are delighted to be a signatory to the Courtauld Commitment. Our work with WRAP has already resulted in us achieving reductions in packaging waste and has enabled us to move closer to achieving our overriding objective of becoming a totally sustainable organisation."

Under the agreement, WRAP works in partnership with manufacturers and their packaging suppliers to develop solutions across the whole supply chain. These include using innovative packaging materials and formats; reducing the weight of packaging; increasing the use of refill and self-dispensing systems; collaborating on packaging design and increasing the use of recycled content packaging.

Reacting to the announcement, WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said: "This is good news for the consumer and the environment. Packaging reduction also delivers cost savings to business."