By Marcus Leach

Retailers' significant progress towards challenging Government waste targets demonstrates how seriously they take their environmental responsibilities.

Responding to a progress report issued today (Monday) by Government waste body WRAP on the second phase of the Courtauld Commitment, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) says the excellent progress endorses the investment being made by retailers in reducing waste.

The Commitment consists of targets to reduce household food waste, packaging and waste within the grocery retail supply chain by the end of 2012.

"The environmental targets retailers are working towards are difficult so it's great to see the effort is already paying off," British Retail Consortium Head of Environment, Bob Gordon, said.

"As part of the first Courtauld commitment retailers helped to prevent 1.2 million tonnes of food and packaging waste and the new figures show they are building on that. Retailers are educating and encouraging customers to change the way they buy and manage food. They're also redesigning products and packaging to ensure the minimum amount of material is used to preserve and protect what's inside.

"Waste within the supply chain is a particular challenge because preventing it can require investment and for businesses to introduce new processes. The ground-work is being done which will lead to bigger improvements in the near future."

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