Nestlé, Unilever, and More Brands Add Their Support to the FWRR Movement

Published May 10, 2019

According to Rubicon Global, more than 14 billion pounds of garbage and waste – a majority of which is toxic to marine animals – is discarded into the ocean every year. The average American contributes over 4 pounds of trash per day to this amount. In total, he or she creates as much as 56 tons of garbage per year. Over a lifetime, this same American will leave behind over 900,000 pounds of trash. In addition to environmental damage, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that of this garbage, 22 percent of all discarded, communal solid waste is food waste.

It has been globally recognized that environmental waste can only be improved through a large-scale dedication to positive change and environmental progress. In response, many companies across all industries have increased efforts to reduce waste and the resulting garbage. However, food waste, and the food and beverage packaging trends that contribute to it, remained largely unnoticed until the recent introduction of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap (FWRR).

What is the FWRR?

Designed to cut food waste by as much as 50 percent, the United Kingdom-based FWRR is continuing to gain support around the world. Introduced earlier this year through the collaborative efforts of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) and IGD Research Analysis, the FWRR has been signed by over 90 companies and organizations in the food and beverage industry (as of September 2018). Including big names like Nestlé, Unilever, Kraft Heinz and Premier Foods, the FWRR was created with the intention of driving down an annual £20 billion ($25.6 billion) in food waste costs that have contributed – and still contribute – to the current amounts.

Why the FWRR Is So Heavily Supported

Many companies who have signed the FWRR are prompting further positive advancement by encouraging their suppliers to evaluate their own operational processes. The UK hopes to move towards adaptation of a farm-to-table mentality and encourages their providers to aid the cause by improving their food packaging for the sake of the environment. This will be done by adopting the principles of “Target, Measure, and Act” throughout operations on both company and industry-wide bases. Companies who have signed (or will be signing) the FWRR in the near future will be held accountable for how they apply these newly implemented principles to both their internal and external processes.

Loosely explained by IGD, these principles are designed to:

1. Help create a target rate concerning food waste reduction within UK operations, that is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

2. Find a way to consistently measure rates of waste reduction and to effectively share with other participating parties what they have learned

3. Actively work to reduce food waste in partnership with supporting suppliers, and to pass these principles along to consumers they can partner with in the food waste reduction cause

If the FWRR continues to gain support at current rates, it is projected that up to half of the UK’s 250 largest food businesses will be targeting, measuring, and acting on food waste by September 2019 (the initial checkpoint of the roadmap). By 2026, the goal is for all 250 of the UK’s largest companies to be participating. To aid in this goal, the FWRR has published assets alongside a wide range of new and useful resources designed to help businesses consistently and effectively target, measure, and act. This way, companies already contributing to the waste reduction vision will be supported, and new companies will feel empowered to join the cause.

Potential Impact of the FWRR on CPG Producers

Just as businesses have recognized their part in reducing their environmental footprint, consumer packaged goods (CPG) producers may also be asked to pivot current food and beverage trends and increase environmental friendliness.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association encourages CPG and secondary packaging companies to re-evaluate current processes in terms of sustainability and waste reduction. Their blog shares, “many CPG companies are setting and meeting very ambitious waste reduction goals. Mondelez, for example, shattered their waste to landfill reduction target of 15 percent by 2015 and instead achieved a 57 percent reduction! Some companies are even achieving zero waste to landfill at their facilities. All of PepsiCo’s FritoLay facilities have been working toward a zero waste to landfill goal since 2009 and their incredibly innovative Casa Grande, AZ plant has sent zero waste to landfill since 2011.”

Simplifying the Packaging Process with INSITE

The entire CPG industry may soon be called upon to include more recyclable materials in product packaging or transition away from producing plastic-heavy products. Whatever happens in the future, simplifying your packaging process now will better position your business for success and continued efficiency moving forward. At INSITE, we approach our customer’s experience with a practical focus on delivering the value that is most needed by bringing clarity and understanding to the automated packaging process. Reach out today to find out more about how we can streamline your packaging process with our high-quality case erectors and case sealers.

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