Analytical Methods for Waste Minimisation in the Convenience Food Industry

Research Area:
Remanufacturing and Recycling


International Journal of Integrated Waste Management

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard

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Waste creation in some sectors of the food industry is substantial, and while much of the used material is non-hazardous and biodegradable, it is often poorly dealt with and simply sent to landfill mixed with other types of waste. In this context, overproduction wastes were found in a number of cases to account for 20-40% of the material wastes generated by convenience food manufacturers (such as ready-meals and sandwiches), often simply just to meet the challenging demands placed on the manufacturer due to the short order reaction time provided by the supermarkets. Identyfying specific classes of waste helps to minimise their creation, through consideration of what the materials constitute and why they were generated. This paper aims to provide means by which food industry wastes can be identified, and demonstrate these mechanisms through a practical example. The research reported in this paper investigated the various categories of waste and generated three analytical methods for the support of waste minimisation activities by food maufacturers. The waste classficiations and analyses are intended to complement exisiting waste minimisation approaches and are described through consideration of a case study convenience manufacturer that realised significant financial savings through waste measurement analysis and reduction. 

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