D-Waste is contributing to the fight against food loss and waste by launching the report IND 4.0 against food wastage. It has been estimated that about one third of the food produced is lost and wasted, such a high scale of waste also involves significant resource, energy, environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Currently, the issue of food waste prevention has risen even further up the political agenda. The goal is to reduce the generation of food loss by preventing the surplus food and reduce food waste by preventing the disposal of avoidable food. Current legislation encourages the prevention of waste and promotes a circular economy, such as the EU’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 12.3). The food recovery hierarchy takes into consideration the three factors of sustainability (environmental, economic and social) contributing to a holistic approach while addressing the FW issue.
The first step towards this involves the establishment of the quantity and causes of food wastage in order to comprehend, explore and establish innovative strategies, under governmental supervision and legislative guidance, which could lead to its reduction.
Advanced technologies and scientific innovations combined with public awareness and demand for sustainable food could promote the circular economy, while reducing the environmental impact during food loss, waste and processing along the food supply chain (FSC). The rise of Industry 4.0 offers a promising and safer approach in the food industry, providing solutions during each level of the food supply chain (FSC) further. Specifically, it can contribute to the reduction of costs, food loss, food waste and other supply chain inefficiencies through the utilization of digital technologies, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. However, there are still many areas along the FSC which need more improvement, in order to enhance the sustainability of the FCS.
A part of food which is wasted could be utilized as raw material for the production of fuel and value products, considering its physicochemical and biological nature. Thus, the development of the food waste bio-refinery has been prompted from the need to increase circularity of industrial systems in order to address limited resources availability and environmental issues.