P-05-963 Require supermarkets to donate excess food to charity, Correspondence – Petitioner to Committee, 06.10.20

Thank you for the opportunity once again to respond to the letter from the Petitions Committee. We commend your current focus on developing an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme to tackle the issue of product packaging, and are also pleased to hear that the UK Government values the food waste hierarchy scheme developed by WRAP.

     As was mentioned in previous correspondence from the committee, voluntary actions are being undertaken by the grocery and food retail industry as part of WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment, with the aim of addressing environmental concerns relating to food waste, as well as the potential social benefits of its redistribution. The 2013-15 Courtauld Commitment led to an estimated 219,000 tonnes of food and packaging supply chain waste being saved, which is to be applauded. Another series of more ambitious targets are being set for the 2025 Courtauld Commitment, which counts just over 100 UK grocery retailers as its signatories so far.

     We would like to note, however, that there were 30,680 businesses registered as grocery stores under the UK Standard Industrial Classification as of 2015. This means that the current voluntary signatories of WRAP’s food waste reduction and redistribution targets account for less than 0.5% of all UK grocery retailers. It is due to these statistics that the Coleg Gwent My World My Home group feels that it would be highly beneficial to our country’s future environmental prospects that the UK Environment Bill secures the necessary powers for the relevant national authority to impose obligations relating to food waste on UK retailers.

     Finally, as aforementioned, we welcome the committee’s pledge to tackle food packaging waste; however, we also wish to convey our conviction that both food waste and food packaging are not isolated issues. Initiatives that aim to tackle both food and packaging waste together are far more likely to succeed and have a further-reaching impact than attempting to tackle these issues in isolation.

     As always, we are grateful for the opportunity to submit our response.

Yours sincerely,


Lyra Jannetta
on behalf of My World My Home
student environmental group at Coleg Gwent