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Just got this abstract sent to me and thought it might be of interest to
the list:

TITLE: The Challenge of Waste Minimisation in the Food and Drink
Industry: A Demonstration Project in East Anglia, UK
AUTHOR: Hyde, Katherine; Smith, Ann; Smith, Miranda;
Henningsson, Stefan
SOURCE: Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 9, no. 1, 2001, pp. 57-64
ABSTRACT: Waste minimization in the food and drink industry leads
to many of the improvements demonstrated in other sectors - energy
efficiency, reduction of raw material use, reduction in water
consumption and increasing reuse and recycling on site. Such
improvements in environmental performance produce a directly
beneficial effect on the profitability of business. The East Anglian
Waste Minimisation in the Food and Drink Industry Project has
demonstrated that significant amounts of food-grade material are
rejected from the production line for their unsatisfactory quality,
whether visual, physical, microbiological or compositional
(chemical or biochemical). The Project has demonstrated that waste
reduction of 12% of raw materials can be achieved and that this makes
significant contributions to company profitability by improving yields
per unit output and by reducing costs associated with waste disposal.
Evidence also shows that there is potential for further improvements
through improving dialogue between producers, retailers and
consumers.

The Project has demonstrated that the packaging of food
products presents considerable challenges to the food and drink
industry. Significant opportunities exist for modifying both primary
and secondary food packaging. However, whilst packaging
requirements principally consider health and safety, the demands of
the major supermarket chains and consumers have taken little or
no account of criteria designed to meet the wide-ranging demands of
waste minimization.

Optimizing the opportunities for waste minimization in the key areas
of putrescible wastage and packaging, and improving consensus and
dialogue are essential catalysts between purchasers, including both
consumers and major supermarkets, and between food producers and
manufacturers. These food and drink sectors must identify the process
options that result in a lower waste burden, pursuing contractual
agreements that reinforce and support the selection of such options.

Amy Perlmutter
Executive Director
Chelsea Center for Recycling and
Economic Development
University of Massachusetts
80 Everett Ave, Suite 221 (!!PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS EFFECTIVE JULY 12,
2001!!)
Chelsea, MA 02150
617-887-2300/fax 617-887-0399
visit our web site at www.chelseacenter.org
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