Liz Goodwin of WRI talks to Terry Slavin about the challenges of tackling food loss and waste at a global level after 15 years at WRAP
When Marks and Spencer’s Mike Barry was asked by Radio 4’s Today programme about the company’s sale of cauliflower “steaks”, slices of cauliflower with a lemon and herb dressing encased in plastic, he said the packaging was recyclable and necessary to prevent food waste – before M&S later that day bowed to the media storm and said it would discontinue the product.
The burgeoning consumer backlash against plastics may be pushing leading UK retailers and brands to cut down on their use of plastic packaging, but it is adding to their challenges in another area of sustainability: their target to cut food waste by at least 20% by 2025 under the Courtauld 2025 commitment.
In the majority of cases the environmental impact of food waste exceeds the impact of packaging
Liz Goodwin, who heads up the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) food loss and waste programme, knows about the trade-offs between packaging and food waste. As former CEO of the UK waste-reduction charity WRAP she was instrumental in setting up the Courtauld commitment in 2005, a collaborative platform that joined leading retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and suppliers, along with charities and local authorities, to reduce all forms of waste in the...