Eight leading food and beverage companies have signed a UK agreement to reduce packaging, it was announced today (15 June).

The firms, including Nestlé, Dairy Crest and Premier Foods, have backed the Courtauld Commitment, which aims to cut the amount of waste reaching UK homes by 5% in three years.

The companies join Heinz, Unilever, Northern Foods and the UK’s top 13 grocery retailers in the agreement, which is backed by the UK government in tandem with WRAP, the Waste & Resources Action Programme.

WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said: ““With the addition of these new signatories, the Courtauld Commitment is an even more powerful vehicle for change, resulting in real reductions in packaging waste.”

The Courtauld Commitment’s target is to reduce the 6.3m tonnes of packaging that reaches UK homes each year by at least 340,000 tonnes by 2010.

Alastair Sykes, chairman and chief executive of Nestle UK & Ireland, said: “Reducing packaging waste is environmentally responsible and makes sound business sense. This partnership will benefit the environment, reduce waste and improve efficiency, so it creates shared value for our business and the wider community.”