WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme)

WRAP is a catalyst for positive economic and environmental action. We work uniquely, and by design, in the space between governments, businesses, communities, thinkers and individuals – forging powerful partnerships and delivering ground-breaking initiatives to support more sustainable economies and society. We are world leaders in establishing the facts, getting the right people working together, then converting ideas into action and delivery on the ground.

Company details

Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street , Banbury , Oxon OX16 5BH United Kingdom

Locations Served

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Waste and Recycling
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

A world without waste
We were set up in 2000 to help recycling take off in the UK and to create a market for recycled materials.

As understanding grew that 'waste' is actually 'stuff with value' and that wasting resources made no environmental or commercial sense, governments across the UK increased efforts to tackle these issues.

Over the last decade, we have helped and continue to help governments devise strategies to deal with these issues through our expertise, research and practical advice.

WRAP is a catalyst for positive economic and environmental action. We work uniquely, and by design, in the space between governments, businesses, communities, thinkers and individuals – forging powerful partnerships and delivering ground-breaking initiatives to support more sustainable economies and society. We are world leaders in establishing the facts, getting the right people working together, then converting ideas into action and delivery on the ground.

We drive change in areas where we can make the biggest difference. Our priority sectors are:

Underpinning all our priority sectors is resource management, our focus on maximising the value of waste by increasing the quantity and quality of materials collected for re-use and recycling.

WRAP’s reputation is founded on:

  • Compiling and analysing the evidence to help our partners build a case, seize opportunities and overcome challenges. 
  • Ground-breaking voluntary agreements that unite organisations behind common sustainability goals.
  • Consumer campaigns that go beyond awareness, changing behaviour and empowering people to act. 

Research and evidence

Carefully building and understanding the evidence is the foundation of everything we do.

Our ground-breaking research is trusted by hundreds of business, governments and charities in the UK, Europe and beyond. 

WRAP’s Barriers to Recycling at Home helped hundreds of local authorities build an evidence base and coherent strategy to get communities engaged and committed to recycling.

Our report, Switched On to Value identified £1 billion of unused electronics in UK homes. We demonstrated that extending the life of electrical products would reduce returns, saving businesses £400 million a year. 

Reducing Food Waste by Extending Product Life demonstrated the business case for preventing food waste by reviewing and extending product life. Drawing on the report’s findings, Tesco saw an opportunity to source fresh produce more quickly, helping them to offer their customers products that stay fresh for longer.  

Valuing Our Clothes provided the first ever deep insight in to the financial and environmental impact of clothing. It revealed that UK households own £30 billion worth of unused clothing and has informed the development of our Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP). 

Voluntary agreements 

WRAP brokers and manages sector-wide voluntary agreements, accelerating change in ways that governments, individual companies or community groups cannot achieve on their own. We forge powerful partnerships, bringing together organisations that would not normally work together to work towards common goals. 

The Courtauld Commitment 2025 is an ambitious voluntary agreement that brings together a broad range of organisations to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable. It builds on the success of the Courtauld Commitments 1, 2 and 3 in preventing waste and avoiding carbon emissions. 

The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement was created to take collective action on the 1.3 billion of meals wasted every year in the UK. We now see an industry commitment to innovation and change. In 2013 alone, the agreement significantly increased re-use and recycling, and prevented £10 million worth of food from being thrown away. 

The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) brings together industry, government and the third sector to reduce resource use and improve the sustainability of clothing. The agreement targets every stage of the clothing journey, bringing together retailers, brands, re-use and recycling organisations, charities and NGOs, who collectively make up over 40% of UK clothing sales.

The European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) will deliver business and environmental benefits by reducing the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing. The agreement supports collaborative action in the EU, China, Hong Kong and Bangladesh. 

The Electrical and Electronic Equipment Sustainability Action Plan (esap) creates a collaborative framework to help change how electronic items are designed, manufactured and discarded. WRAP has shown that even modest changes can deliver significant commercial and environmental benefits. Working with our partners to increase re-use by just 10% would save 30,000 tonnes of vital raw materials and avoid 220,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.  

Consumer campaigns

Our consumer campaigns empower individuals to take action through inspiring messages and practical advice. 

Love Food Hate Waste is delivered in partnership with major UK supermarkets. The campaign gives individuals the information they need to recognise and tackle food waste. Our ground-breaking work is now reaching international audiences in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.

Love Your Clothes offers practical advice to help people make the most of their clothes, as well as demonstrating the benefits of repairing, re-using and recycling them. 

Recycle Now provides information and advice to help individuals recycle more. It is the national recycling campaign for England, used by over 90% of English local authorities.

Our work with businesses 

WRAP’s Love Your Clothes campaign worked in partnership with leading home removals Pickfords to keep used clothing out of landfill. Working with Clothes Aid, they developed a service to encourage people to donate their unwanted clothing to charity on move day. For every tonne of good quality clothes and shoes collected, the NSPCC receives £300. 

Grants and financial support 

Working closely with our funders, WRAP designs and delivers grant programmes to promote and encourage waste prevention, resource efficiency, renewable energy and the sustainability of products and materials. Designed in consultation with funders and stakeholders to achieve clear objectives, our grants are open to businesses of all sizes.

Each funding offer is supported by comprehensive guidance and we operate a fair, transparent selection process with a focus on value for money.

We have two priorities; minimising resource use and diverting priority materials from landfill.

Between 2011-15 we aim to:

  • Encourage better design and more informed consumption which will help us all waste less
  • Make it easier to recycle, repair and re-use as much of our waste as possible, wherever we are – in the home, at work, or away from home
  • To enable others to recover as much value as possible from the waste that's collected – whether as resources that can be used again and again, or as energy
  • Help others to keep resources moving round the economy - the more money we save, the less the demand on ever-scarcer natural resources

WRAP's vision is a world in which resources are used sustainably.

WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.

Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, resource-efficient economy by:

  • re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
  • re-thinking how we use and consume products, and
  • re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling

  • WRAP are world leaders in helping organisations achieve greater resource efficiency.
  • We have a record of success. Between 2010 and 2015 in England alone, WRAP initiatives reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50 million tonnes (Mt), which is equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of Portugal.
  • We provide information, tools and practical advice that help governments, businesses and consumers to act.
  • We provide a safe, non-competitive space where businesses can share best practice and collaborate to deliver change.
  • WRAP has achieved ISO9001:2015 certification for our design, development, management and delivery of programmes and projects which provide resource sustainable solutions.

We're mission driven. We act in the public interest to help people and planet to thrive.

We have the honest conversations and, when necessary, face the uncomfortable truths.

We act on evidence and stand by our convictions.

We listen actively and report impartially. We treat our staff and suppliers fairly.

We collaborate to succeed.

2000: WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) was set up to promote sustainable waste management.

2004: We launched our Recycle Now campaign, which was taken up by 60% local authorities in its first year.

2005: WRAP's PAS100 was published, enabling the composting industry to demonstrate the quality of its product.

Courtauld Commitment 1, our voluntary agreement designed to reduce waste across the UK grocery sector, was signed by major UK supermarkets.

2006: We published Environmental Benefits of Recycling which demonstrated that recycling is environmentally worthwhile compared with other ways of managing waste.

2007: We launched our Love Food Hate Waste consumer campaign.

2008: We published our ground-breaking research The Food We Waste which showed for the first time the true extent of waste.

2009: Over the four-year period of Courtauld Commitment 1 (2005-9), 1.2 million tonnes of food and packaging waste was prevented, saving 3.3 million tonnes of CO2e (carbon emissions)

We published Meeting the UK Climate Change Challenge: The Contribution of Resource Efficiency which showed that improving resource efficiency could contribute almost 10% of the required reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

In conjunction with the British Retail Consortium, we launched a new on-pack label to help consumers recycle packaging more easily.

2010: Courtauld Commitment 2, our second voluntary agreement for the UK grocery sector was launched.

WRAP's PAS110 quality standard for digestate is published by BSI, enabling the anaerobic digestion industry to demonstrate the quality of its product.

2011: We published our review of our 2008-11 business plan period, which showed that by 2011 we had helped divert more than 12 million tonnes of waste from landfill each year and avoided annual Co2e emissions of over 6 million tonnes.

2012: Between 2010 and 2012, Courtauld Commitment 2 achieved a reduction in waste of 1.7 million tonnes.

Our Hospitality and Food Service Agreement launched with more than 70 signatories, to support the sector in reducing waste.

We concluded our very successful Halving Waste to Landfill agreement, which saw more than 800 companies sign up and positively influenced construction to the value of more than £40 billion.

WRAP successfully bid to lead an EU LIFE-funded project on Developing Resource Efficient Business Models (REBUS).

2013: WRAP launched its Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), bringing together textile manufacturers and fashion brands to reduce water consumption, carbon emissions and waste.

2014: WRAP launched its Love Your Clothes consumer campaign, inspiring and empowering consumers to reuse and recycle clothing.

Electricals and Electronics Sustainability Action Plan (esap), brings together electrical and electronics manufacturers and retailers to improve the business efficiency and sustainability of electrical and electronic products throughout their lifecycle.

WRAP became a registered charity.

2015: We published the results of our very successful ARID programme which helped the recycling industry invest in Wales, recycling, re-using or reducing nearly 400,00 tonnes of waste and creating 178 new jobs.

WRAP successfully bid to lead an EU LIFE-funded European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), to reduce the waste, water and carbon footprints of EU clothing.

We published our Food Futures report which showed how the UK might move from 'business as usual' to 'business unusual'.

WRAP successfully bid to lead an EU LIFE-funded Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery (‘CRM Recovery’) project to explore the commercial opportunities for harvesting critical raw materials from electrical products.

2016: We launched our 10 year producer to consumer voluntary agreement Courtauld Commitment 2025 - to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable.