Three Ways Wales is Cutting Down on Food Waste
The UK country of Wales has noticed a problem with food waste throughout supply chains in its food manufacturing industry, and it’s doing something about it. The UK’s Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) reports that Welsh Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant has officially launched the Food Manufacture, Service and Retail Sector Plan as part of the country’s overall goal to achieve zero waste and live “within [its] environmental limits” by the year 2050.
This food waste plan specifically geared toward encouraging innovation and recycling while reducing instances of food waste throughout the supply chain with a focus on three areas above all:
- Waste Prevention – The best offense is a good defense, and the number one way that the Welsh government is attempting to cut down on waste is to stop creating as much of it in the first place. The Sector Plan outlines a goal to reduce waste output by 1.2 percent each year in the commercial and foodservice sectors and 1.4 percent in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
- Preparation for Reuse and Recycling – The government is placing a larger emphasis on not just recycling in general, but creative ways to make the recycling process more beneficial. One goal is for more food waste to be sent to anaerobic digestion plants, where it can have a second useful life as fuel for generating renewable energy and fertilizer. Another goal is better separation of refuse products so that it may be more easily incorporated into compost, and to encourage the use of recycling-based materials like compost over newly manufactured materials.
- Treatment and Disposal of Waste – To further encourage an emphasis on reuse and recycling, Wales is making some other forms of waste disposal less enticing. “There is an imperative to make a step change in the amount of food waste collected separately from businesses, changing from a very low rate of separation at present to a level of at least 80% capture in the commercial waste stream and 90% capture in the industrial waste stream by 2025,” reads the Plan. Some initiatives that the Welsh government are considering include supporting businesses to make good waste disposal choices through education and incentives, and banning incineration, landfilling, and/or sewer disposal of certain food waste materials.
”It’s vital that Welsh businesses can be competitive and resilient in world markets,” said Sargeant in the introduction of this initiative. “Ensuring a secure supply of materials, and making the most efficient use of materials is key to this, as well as the potential to make savings and become more efficient.”
Read the whole Food Manufacture, Service and Retail Sector Plan as it currently stands here.