The issues

There are a number of specific sustainability challenges facing the dairy sector.

Research shows that 330,000* tonnes of total milk is lost each year, worth more than £150 million. Milk waste in the home accounts for nearly 90% with 290,000** tonnes thrown away a year. This equates to more than 490 million pints of milk as a nation - or eighteen and a half pints per household

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

What can my organisation do?

WRAP works with organisations across the dairy supply chain to create value from cutting food, water and carbon waste.

Our experts contribute knowledge, tools, guidance and case studies detailing new techniques and best practice in effective and sustainable waste management.

Target, Measure, Act

Food surplus and waste measurement and reporting guidelines: Dairy processing

These guidelines provide recommendations for dairy processing businesses, based on the specific operational considerations and challenges relevant to this sector. A key challenge for dairy processors is the need to account in a consistent way for very dilute or very concentrated waste streams. They clarify and contextualise the requirements from the UK Guidelines for Measuring and Reporting Food Surplus and Waste (UK Guidelines) , for the dairy sector. It is consistent with the FLW Standard and supports the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap

To measure and report your food waste a data capture sheet and reporting template are available here.

Dairy processing guidance

Bottled Milk Review

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. Actions are required across the entire value chain, and WRAP’s work shows opportunities to reduce milk waste during processing, transportation, retail and ultimately how we can all cut milk waste in our homes.

Bottled Milk Review

Taking Action on Consumer Waste

  • A review of dairy processing technologies & innovations to improve shelf life [available on C2025 Hub]

  • Convening industry agreement on best practice labelling & pack design actions to prevent consumer waste – and a means to achieve greater adoption

  • Developing a campaign moment for milk, as part of the wider Consumer Food Waste National Movement

Love Food Hate Waste

Your Business is Food

Your Business is Food; don’t throw it away helps food businesses save money and boost profits by throwing away less food. With simple steps and handy resources you can help reduce the amount of food you throw away and help staff learn good practice.

Your Business is Food

Case studies: Our work in action

Our experts contribute the know-how and evidence-based tools that will help deliver international sustainability goals.

Solutions reduce waste by 2,600 tonnes per annum

Dairy company has implemented remedial solutions that will reduce waste by 2,600 tonnes per annum at their Stourton creamery.

Learn more

Anaerobic Digestion cuts dairy’s waste and energy costs

“It has helped us to cut costs and at the same time has improved our environmental performance, significantly raising the company profile, both within the dairy industry and within the local community.” Alan McInnes, Technical and Operations Manager.

Learn more

Diverting surplus dairy products to animal feed – and saving money

Love Food Hate Waste is active in the England, Wales, Scotland, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand. LFHW New Zealand works across 60 councils and community groups to reduce consumer food waste.

Learn more

Food date labelling and storage advice

Our research shows that people really value having information that helps them make better use of their food, particularly on-pack.

Learn more

What our partners say

WRAP has a successful track record supporting the industry, working with local authorities, communities and organisations to provide real measurable change...

“Consumers are increasingly interested in environmental issues and as a Courtauld
signatory, Nestlé UK has been very pleased to work with WRAP for a number of years
to reduce the amount of packaging materials we use, use more recycled materials,
encourage consumers to recycle more and identify ways to tackle the problem of
food waste through the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign.“

- Paul Grimwood, Chairman and Chief Executive, Nestlé UK

Find out more about our work supporting businesses and organisations in the food industry through Courtauld 2025:

Courtauld 2025

Our Resources

By working with WRAP your organisation can improve processes, find new techniques and work toward implementing best practice in your supply chain.






Case studies