The latest news from the world of sustainability, the latest views from the brains behind Best Foot Forward
Press , 14 May 2012
Defra, the soft drinks industry, and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) have joined forces to help the UK soft drinks sector increase efforts to reduce cost and environmental impact. In partnership with leading sustainability consultancy Best Foot Forward, work has just started on an ambitious research programme which will look at impacts in all parts of the industry and suppliers, to identify hotspots and where action is most needed.
Defra has identified the soft drinks sector as a key industry partner in this project. Greater resource efficiency could save money and reduce reliance on natural resources – something that the sector already recognises. The UK industry is successful and competitive, growing rapidly, with a market value over £14 billion and annual production now exceeding 14 billion litres per year.
Yet WRAP research shows that households are wasting around half-a-billion litres of soft drinks a year, and that a large proportion of the associated packaging ends up in landfill. At the same time, there is additional waste generated in the production and supply of soft drinks.
The industry is affected by water scarcity which affects the supply of fruit and rising prices for key ingredients like sugar and PET (plastic) packaging.
Recycling Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach said:
“Businesses can save money and reduce their impact on the environment by cutting waste all along the supply chain – from how products are made and packaged through to how they are transported and sold to consumers. I’m delighted that businesses in the growing soft drinks industry are working with Best Foot Forward and WRAP to look at better ways of cutting waste.”
Richard Laming, BSDA media director said:
"The soft drinks industry is determined to reduce its environmental impact and we want to work with the best experts available in order to do so. The results of this research will help every soft drinks company, whether a member of BSDA or not, to shrink its environmental footprint."
Added Dr Richard Swannell, WRAP director of design and waste prevention:
“The UK soft drinks industry is already taking action to reduce its environmental footprint. The new research will help us all better understand the impacts along the supply chain and to identify further areas for improvement.”
Best Foot Forward will research soft drinks production and consumption, looking at carbon emissions, resource efficiency and socio-economic issues. The consultancy will research the entire soft drinks supply chain, from raw material production to end of life. Defra will then work with the industry, with both the partners taking recommendations on board and developing a ‘sustainability roadmap’ for the future.
Chris Stanley, Director at Best Foot Forward said:
“We’re hoping to discover all of the ways we can reduce waste throughout the supply chain. We’ll be building an evidence base with the industry, combining our knowledge and expertise and defining the practical steps that can be taken.”
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