Shadow Secretary of State for Environment Mary Creagh has committed a future Labour government to a policy of zero food waste whilst speaking at the annual Foodservice Packaging Association Environment Conference at the Chesford Grange Hotel, Warwick.
Creagh (Lab, Wakefield) made the commitment whilst addressing the conference of packaging manufacturers and distributors on issues related to reducing waste and increasing waste stream recovery. Packaging’s role in reducing food waste is acknowledged by WRAP and others.
Creagh’s comment was supported by fellow speaker Bob Lisney OBE chairman of the Advisory Committee on Packaging who said that the technology already exists to effect zero food waste but recovery infrastructures need to be improved alongside communication.
Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby (Con), a panel contributor at the FPA conference, said improved communications would help understanding of waste as a valuable resource. The conference heard how investment is being made in the recovery infrastructure with new facilities for processing waste under consideration. Both Creagh and Pawsey were keen to emphasize the benefits of keeping waste in the UK that was previously exported and that the sector has the opportunity to create valuable markets and jobs.
Ms Creagh also made reference to the forthcoming Labour Waste and Resources review paper due to be published in February, saying that resource security was a key issue in the light of the increasing frequency of extreme global weather events.
FPA Chairman Neil Whittall said: “It is increasingly recognized that packaging plays a significant role in fuelling growth in the food and retail sectors. As a body we are committed to innovating new packing concepts that meet consumer demand for convenience in sustainable formats. The FPA fully supports the work of WRAP and the Hospitality and Food Service Voluntary Agreement and holds a place on the steering committee and is working hard with various bodies to address the issues of lack of national standard waste recovery infrastructure and the lack of facilities available out of the home such as recycling on the go.”