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Why Anaerobic Digestion Is Essential For Cutting Food Waste


Food waste is becoming an increasing problem around the world, with the UK producing 9.5 million tonnes of unused food a year. 


This is not only wasteful and a huge expense of money, but it is having a negative impact on the environment. 


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global food waste generates eight per cent of greenhouse gases annually, which is nearly as much as global road transport emissions.


Therefore, it is important that consumers and manufacturers do what they can to prevent food wastage. 


One of the best ways to do this is by improving the disposal of produce that is no longer edible, such as through anaerobic digestion (AD). 


This is the breakdown of food waste to produce biogas and biofertilizer, which can then be used to provide power, heat or fuel. 


Therefore, the out-of-date food is being put to good use, instead of remaining on a landfill site and releasing methane, which traps in the heat from the sunshine and remains in the atmosphere for 12 years. 


Other ways to improve the disposal of food waste is through composting, using it for animal feed, and incinerating it with the purpose of energy recovery. 


If the food is still edible, it can be redistributed to people. It is also important for manufacturers to provide accurate forecasting, only ordering the right amount of ingredients for the produce they are making. 


They could also review their use-by dates to reduce the number of consumers throwing away food that is still safe to eat. 


It is also essential for manufacturers to choose the right packaging to improve shelf life while also committing to environmentally friendly policies. 


Tracking food waste is another way to reduce it, as this information can be analysed to inform manufacturers if they are producing too much or being inefficient.