Food and Packaging, Waste Management and Minimisation: An Assessment

Tomlinson, E (2007) Food and Packaging, Waste Management and Minimisation: An Assessment. [Dissertation]

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The aim of this dissertation is to illustrate and assess the waste minimisation practices in the
food processing industry with particular emphasis on the reduction of food and packaging.
The study entailed a visit to a local supermarket for an exploratory in-situ investigation into
the practices and procedures of their waste reduction processes. The purpose was to
determine the key influences (internal or external) which are motivating the industry to review
and improve their environmental performance in the waste minimisation sector. The final
aspect of the site investigation was to review the future aspirations and projections envisaged
by the supermarket at national level. In addition, it was perceived that the knowledge and
perceptions of primary school children in relation to waste and the environment would be
beneficial to the study. Therefore, a questionnaire was distributed to a local primary school
for completion by 8-11 year olds. The questions were related to the food processing industry
with reference to packaging.
The industry is promoting its public image through improved environmental performance due
to imposed pressures from various sectors. In recent years the industry has had to implement
environmental management practices and adhere to regulatory requirements, were noncompliance
has resulted in prosecution.
The study highlights three significant factors that are conducive to the decision making
process within the food retail industry namely from regulatory framework, consumer and
economic pressures. These factors have a symbiotic relationship in where they have a
dynamic flow between them. The findings from the questionnaire reveal that a majority of
the primary school children had a good environmental knowledge and awareness; however,
further investigation into their mindset would have been beneficial to the study.

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