Food Waste – A Growing Concern

Food waste – a growing concern

The issue of food waste has been gradually moving up the agenda in recent years, with recent hikes in food prices bringing the issue to fore again.

WRAP has recently announced the dates of their ‘Food Waste Action Week’ for 2023, a week in which they bring attention to the major issue of food wastage, with the aim being to halve the amount of food wasted in the UK by 2030. The statistics on food waste are bleak, with around a third of food produced globally never being eaten. This has serious consequences for climate change also.

Obviously, minimisation is the key here but is always a challenge in food manufacturing and supplier facilities, where the stringent quality control and food safety procedures can lead to tonnes of food being wasted on a monthly basis.

  • 75% of food waste happens at the production, postharvest handling, and storage levels.
  • More than 500 million tons are lost due to crop pests and inefficient harvesting and irrigation. …
  • Another 350 million tons are estimated to be lost due to postharvest handling and storage.
  • The top causes of food waste in processing are insects, birds, rodents, molds, and bacteria

So, if there is little scope for prevention, we need to make sure the waste is at least recovered for use in other ways.
At Waste Efficiency, we send wasted food into anaerobic digestion plants so that the materials can be recovered as energy. Anaerobic digestion is the process in which microorganisms breakdown food waste in the absence of oxygen. This process produces two valuable by-products, biogas, which is trapped and used as a renewable energy source, and digestate, a nutrient dense fertiliser. Although less food waste is the goal, through anaerobic digestion we can create renewable energy, whilst also avoiding landfill. 

There are many other routes for food waste dependent on the type and volumes, everything from reuse to cattle feeds to renewable energy.
Whether you are a manufacturer or in the hospitality sector, we can help. Contact us to find out more about anaerobic digestion and other sustainable solutions for your food waste