WRAP helping UK tackle milk waste

A new report from WRAP has highlighted that 330,000 tonnes of milk are wasted each year – equivalent to 7% of all milk produced and worth £150 million.

90% of UK milk waste is created in the home, equivalent to 18.5 pints per household per year.

30,000 tonnes is lost in the supply chain through breakages and leaks during transportation and in retail outlets; with an additional 13,000 tonnes of waste created during processing.

WRAP’s report Opportunities to Reduce Waste along the Journey of Milk, from Dairy to Home identifies key actions that could help reduce this waste by an estimated 90,000 tonnes per year, offering a potential combined saving of upwards of £40 million. WRAP’s work shows opportunities to reduce milk waste throughout the entire supply chain, during processing, transportation, retail and ultimately how we can all cut milk waste in our homes.

In our homes, WRAP suggests the following to reduce milk waste:

  • Ensure fridge temperature is between 0-5°C
  • Use temperature sensitive labels on the milk
  • Wider use of WRAP’s Little Blue Fridge icon, with the supporting message ‘keep in the fridge below 5°C’
  • Freeze milk
  • Increase the average ‘Use By’ date on milk by just one day.

In the supply chain, significant waste comes from processes such as separating cream from milk, which produces ‘separator desludge’. WRAP believes this is a nutrient rich resource which could be used for food or animal feed applications rather than being thrown away.

In depots and retail stores, practical interventions such as reviewing the bottle design to avoid breakages and leaks could avoid waste.

WRAP will work with the sector through the Courtauld 2025 Dairy Working Group to help ensure the recommendations are implemented and plans to track improvements and innovations to pack design and labelling over time through its Retail Survey. Progress will also be reported as part of a new target within The Dairy Roadmap – to increase product and packaging design features that help prevent consumer food waste.

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