Food production, storage and distribution have an unavoidable impact on the environment. FWD members seek to minimise this through initiatives that increase the efficiency of the supply chain, from the producer to the consumer.
Initiatives include: route optimisation technology; driver training; low carbon fuels; back hauling and recycling of waste and packaging; reducing packaging; recycling used cooking oil and reducing waste to landfill.
FWD is working closely with Government on its 25 year environment plan and other environmental policy proposals including those around using the tax system to tackle the use of single use plastics and other ways to tackle plastic waste.
Pressure had been growing for the Government to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme, which is intended to cut plastic, glass and metal drinks container waste by incentivizing consumers who return their drinks containers with a small cash sum.
Deposit Return Scheme
The Scottish Government has published a consultation on what a deposit return scheme would look like in Scotland. The consultation seeks views on what materials would be in scope and what level the de- posit should be set at. The consultation also seeks views on the locations where consumers should return their drinks containers, options include: dedicated drop off points, dedicated drop off points and some shops, or any place that sells drinks. Information can be found here: https://news.gov.scot/news/tackling- plastic-pollution
The UK Government will also consult on a DRS system for England and Wales in the autumn. FWD at- tended a meeting with Defra at which they outlined their emerging thinking on the consultation content. Two schemes are under consideration: an On the Go system and an All In system. The starting scope for the the DRS will be:
• PET, glass and metal
• Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
• Possibly milk-based drinks
• No exemption for small producers
Under an On the Go system formats bought for away from home consumption (de ned by size of contain-er) would be in scope, avoiding a con ict with kerbside recycling. In an All In system, there would be no format or container size distinction and there would be wide return provision via reverse vending machinesand/or manual handling.
The consultation is due to launch in the autumn and FWD will continue to monitor developments.
The Government has announced it will not be introducing a “latte levy” of 25p on takeaway cups. In response to the Environmental Audit report on coffee cup waste, the Government suggested that coffee shops should offer discounts for customers with reusable cups, instead of a levy on disposable cups. The Committee’s key recommendation was the introduction of a 25p levy on the use of disposable coffee cups, to reduce their use and help to fund recycling measures.
The Government has announced it will consult on banning the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton budgets. Subject to the consultation, the Government may ban the sale of these items in England under plans to meet their 25 Year Environment Plan ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste.
A number of supermarkets and food companies including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Coca-Cola have signed up to a new voluntary pledge which aims to transform packaging and reduce avoidable plastic waste. The new voluntary pact has an aspiration that by 2025 all plastic packaging can be reused, recycled or composted. The Scottish and Welsh Governments and Defra have also pledged their support. The 42 signatories are responsible for more than 80% of plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets.