UK food and drink processors urged over water wastage

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Water, Investment, Litre

UK food and drink manufacturers are some of the worst industrial culprits when it comes to water wastage, according to a sector-by-sector survey undertaken by a government-funded environmental programme.

Food and drink companies are major industrial water users, mainly for processes, products and cleaning. Envirowise, which is launching an initiative aimed at helping the sector reduce its consumption of water, said its study showed that food and drink processors in England and Wales use 268 million cubic metres every year, the equivalent of 71,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. Supply pressure"Water is still considered by many as a cheap and limitless resource. The reality is that we are using far too much of it and this is putting pressure on exisiting supplies,"​ Envirowise water specialist Clare Sweeney told FoodProductionDaily.com "We are encouraging food and drink manufacturers to reduce their consumption of this commodity to help futureproof against the operational and bottom line effect of rising costs,"​ she said Bill reduction​ The group claims that its water efficiency scheme, Rippleffect, can help manufacturers reduce their annual water bills by up to one third, which translates at £256,000 per day, thus affording them a competition advantage. It claims that these savings can increase to 50 per cent annually if food and drink processors invest in long-term water saving technology. Online assessment​ Companies that sign up for the free scheme receive access to online assessment tools designed to help processors understand how much water they use as well as information on simple ways to start saving water and money and help to measure the water and cost savings they make. "As well as gaining financially, involvement in a water conservation programme enables companies to boost their enviromental credentials," ​she added. Drip effect​ The group said that there are many simple low and no-cost ways of improving water efficiency including fixing dripping taps and installing water-saving devices. "A tap dripping two drops a second across a year, for example, could waste nearly 10,000 litres of water,"​ claims Sweeney. Envirowise said it offers free and independent advice to businesses of all sizes and sectors to help them improve their processes and competitiveness. More information on its programme is available at www.envirowise.gov.uk

Related topics: Soft Drinks & Water

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