Mapping Waste in the Food Industry
This project was commissioned to collect data on food and packaging waste arisings from FDF members' manufacturing sites in 2012.
This was primarily in order to track progress towards FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition target to send zero food and packaging waste to landfill by 2015 at the latest
and to gain insight into food and packaging waste arisings at its members'
manufacturing sites across the UK. It builds on two previous surveys
FDF and Defra, and undertaken
in 2008 and in 2010, which assessed the amount of food and packaging waste
arising from such sites during 2006, 2008 and 2009. In the 2010 report, the
survey years were also compared to evaluate progress in waste management
in the industry. Both the 2012 survey and the previous surveys were undertaken
by Oakdene Hollins.
This report is based on the responses to a survey distributed by FDF in August
2013. As with previous survey reports it aims to provide an updated snapshot of
the amount and geographical distribution of food and packaging waste arising at
FDF member sites and how this waste is being managed. Responses were received
from 135 sites, which collectively generated 196,477 tonnes of food and
waste in 2012. However, details on how these wastes are managed were provided
only 84, which accounted for 138,836 tonnes of the total. Also, data were
compared within a smaller sub-sample of 55 sites which provided data for all
survey years and were analysed, to identify trends.
Of the 138,836 tonnes of waste produced at sites who responded with waste
management information, only 4,214 tonnes (3%) was sent to landfill, with the
remaining 97% being recovered in some way. This shows that FDF members are
progress towards meeting the FDF zero food and packaging waste to landfill
target. Mixed waste represented the majority of waste sent to landfill in 2012.
Landspreading was the major management method in use in 2012, followed by
recycling and thermal treatment with energy recovery. The latter represented
dominant route for mixed waste; this suggests that, although waste being
has decreased since previous years, much of this is being diverted to thermal
treatment with energy recovery rather than it undergoing better segregation to
enable recycling, AD or composting. Recycling was also a significant management
route especially for packaging with some 96% of such waste being managed this
Finally, the amount of waste being sent to AD showed substantial uplift
to previous surveys with 8% of total waste being managed in this way.
The previous reports suggested that targeting waste segregation at source should
be prioritised, to reduce the tonnage of mixed waste going to landfill. The
latest survey data show that, although the amount of mixed waste generated has
decreased slightly since 2008, much of this waste is being diverted from
thermal treatment with energy recovery. This implies that this waste is not
being segregated and therefore there is still opportunity for increased
in order to enable more recycling of this waste.
Analysis of the sub-sample of 55 sites providing data for all four years showed
a strong decrease in the use of landfill, with an 80% reduction between 2006
2012. Another positive trend concerned recycling, which showed a 36% increase
Further analysis was undertaken to examine how waste has changed in relation to
levels of production. The results show that between 2008 and 2012 the ratio of
waste to production may have decreased slightly.
The table below summarises further opportunities for waste prevention and
further improvements in waste management available to FDF members.
|Waste prevention opportunities
||Waste management improvements
- Setting internal key performance indicators to encourage more waste prevention
- Deeper applications of lean manufacturing principles
- Better waste segregation to eliminate landfill
- Increase the proportion of food waste going to AD
WRAP has developed a signposting tool help food businesses access information on
food waste and how to prevent it in their supply chains and help consumers
reduce food waste. It provides links to insights and guidance from a wide range
organisations to help companies take action to reduce their environmental
and cut costs.
Last reviewed: 19 Jan 2016