Hierarchy of food waste prevention & waste management

Mon 14 June 2021

The food-specific hierarchy of waste prevention and management should guide the development and implementation of all strategies and actions to tackle food waste.

As in the case of any problem, so in the case of food waste, a phenomenon with serious social, environmental and economic consequences, prevention is certainly the best solution. Primarily, it is the prevention at the source (avoiding the creation of food surpluses), and secondly the use for human consumption (e.g. donation of surplus food for public benefit or other redistribution).

Following in the hierarchy of preferences, as shown in the "reverse pyramid" *, are feeding foods that are no longer intended for human consumption.

This is followed by the utilization of by-products / upgrading (value) of food waste into high value-added products, then the recovery of substances for low value-added uses, such as composting or anaerobic digestion, and then the recovery of energy through incineration.

Finally, dumping (landfill, incineration without energy recovery, and wastewater) should of course be avoided by all means. It is worth noting that the food that decomposes in the landfill releases methane is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of the greenhouse effect.

Boroume team will continue with perseverance and enthusiasm to implement and promote the best solutions to tackle food waste!

* "Prioritization of strategies for food surpluses, by-products and food waste prevention"

Sources: European Commission, Brief on food waste in the EU, 2020 / European Commission, EU actions against food waste, Food waste measurement