Policy Position

FDF's Ambition for Zero Waste to Landfill

FDF members will seek to send zero food and packaging waste to landfill at the latest by 2015, in line with the principles of the waste hierarchy. We will also make a significant contribution to WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 3 target to reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% by 2015, from a 2012 baseline.

Delivering Our Ambition

Final results for phase 2 of the Commitment show an absolute reduction in supply chain waste of 7.4% since 2009, compared to a target of 5%. This equates to a weight reduction of some 217,000 tonnes and has been achieved despite an increase in production volumes over the same period.

Household food waste has shown a slower decline at just 3.4%, but this increases to 5.3% if unavoidable waste is excluded, against an absolute target of 4% for the reporting period.

WRAP has also just published new estimates showing a total reduction in avoidable household food waste of 21% since 2007. This suggests that more needs to be done to restore earlier momentum and meet WRAP's aspiration of halving the total by 2025. FDF supports this call and is ready to work with retailers, brands, governments and consumers to achieve it. FDF undertakes its own surveys to collect data on members' food and packaging waste arisings in order to track progress towards our own zero waste to landfill target, which we aim to achieve by 2015 at the latest. Our third such survey, in collaboration with WRAP, showed that members continue to find new ways of preventing or diverting waste to other uses, sending only 3% to landfill in 2012 compared to 16.5% in 2006.

In addition FDF has been working with supply chain partners, charities, other industry bodies and WRAP to look at ways of increasing the amount of food redistributed by the grocery sector to those in need. A new set of guiding principles for redistributing surplus food has been agreed and FDF is promoting this to members.

We have also been active in supporting and developing wider food waste initiatives, such as the 'Every Crumb Counts' joint food wastage declaration launched by FoodDrink Europe and other European food chain organisations.



The food and drink manufacturing industry is estimated to send about 3m tonnes of food and packaging waste to landfill each year[1]. Food waste in landfill sites gives rise to methane which is 21 times more damaging to the environment than CO2 emissions[2]. Sending food waste and, indeed, packaging waste, to landfill is discouraged under the waste hierarchy promoted by the Government. The hierarchy's guiding principles are putting waste prevention first, followed by reuse, recycling/composting, energy recovery and lastly disposal.

1 Defra's 2007 Waste Strategy. Incpen/FDF 0.9mt of packaging waste.
2 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2006).


More Information

Last reviewed: 05 Mar 2014