Opportunities to reduce waste along the journey of milk, from dairy to home

New report by WRAP uncovers the scale of the milk waste across the supply chain and highlights the ways we can significantly reduce thousands of tonnes of milk waste worth more than £150Million.

Key points
330,000 tonnes of milk waste each year were identified. From processing to our homes.
90% of this milk waste occurs in the home equating to 490 million pints of milk.
Report outlines opportunities to reduce this waste by an estimated 90,000 tonnes per year.
Generating a combined saving upwards of £90Million.

WRAP’s report Opportunities to reduce waste along the journey of milk, from dairy to home, shows the opportunities to reduce milk waste during processing, transportation, retail and ultimately how we can all cut milk waste in our homes.

 

Tackling milk waste in the home 

WRAP has begun work tackling the biggest trigger for waste in the home, refrigeration. Many people don’t know what temperature their fridge should be set at and don’t know how to set it to the right temperature. Getting this right and your temperature to below 5°C could stop more than 50,000 tonnes of milk waste every year, saving shoppers £25 million.

A HANDY SOLUTION - Under our ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign, WRAP is addressing the confusion people have with the variety of fridges settings with www.chillthefridgeout.com. The resource helps anyone check that the temperature setting is correct for 24 of the county’s most popular fridges.

Other solutions outlined in the report to help people reduce milk waste in the home include: 

 

Milk waste in the supply chain

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

Most significantly, waste identified during milk processing which arises from the process of separating cream from milk, which produces a material known as ‘separator desludge’. This is usually sent straight to drain, but WRAP believes this is a potentially rich resource with high nutrient value proteins. Further processing into materials suitable for food, or animal feed applications could reduce waste by an estimated 10,000 tonnes and cut disposal costs by around £1 million a year.

We also identify a number of practical interventions to avoid milk waste in depots and retail stores, which could save industry an estimated £1.5 million. For example, reviewing bottle design and specifications to avoid breakages and leaks which are the major causes of waste at this stage of the product journey.

 

Next steps

  • We will be working with the sector through the Courtauld 2025 Dairy Working Group to help ensure the recommendations are implemented. 
  • Improvements and innovations to pack design and labelling will be tracked through our 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.