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Your Handy Guide to the Food and Drink Waste Hierarchy

As certified members of the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), we work together with our customers to reduce and limit the environmental impacts waste. This includes the support of those who produce, keep, and dispose of food and beverage waste following the hierarchy of food and drink waste.

Focusing on sustainability, the food and drink waste hierarchy specifies actions in order of preference, with prevention being the most and disposal the least favourable option. The practicality of such measures will vary, depending on the availability of finance and facilities. Keep on reading and consider the best options for your business and the environment.


In the first instance you should prevent any surplus and waste from your business through the application of tools from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap).

Such tools can help to identify the types of waste being generated and measures that can be taken to minimise the environmental harm.


If it isn’t possible to avoid the generation of waste then re-use options should be considered. For example, you could join the Too Good To Go scheme, redistributing unsold food from your cafe or restaurant to local people at an affordable price.

Another eco-friendly option is to prevent food waste in partnership with local redistribution networks and food banks. Or there may be potential for converting your food waste into industrial products.


The next best option will be to recycle your food and beverage waste. Surplus bakery or confectionery products may be used in the feeding of livestock, provided that there hasn’t been direct contact with meat, fish, or shellfish. You can also encourage the growth of fresh produce by spreading the food waste as compost.

The use of such recycling methods will enable you to reduce your carbon footprint and save money which would otherwise be spent on transfer to landfill.


While the avoidance of food and beverage waste may not be possible, you may make sustainable use of the recovered energy. Sharing in the ownership of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, Bioganix are able to convert such waste into biomass material for the production of methane-rich biogas and digestate (suitable for use as organic fertiliser).

Food and beverage waste may also be decanted, with the separation of solids for anaerobic digestion and fats and oils for the production of biodiesel.


Food and beverage waste may be disposed of as a last resort, ideally with the energy being recovered during the process of incineration (allowing for the generation of electricity and heat).

Incineration without energy recovery will be a better financial and environmental choice than the direct transfer of waste to landfill.

Contact Bioganix

If you’d like further information about the application of the food and drink waste hierarchy then it’s worth reading the guidance provided by the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Otherwise, you should get in touch and find out more about the range of environmentally-friendly services offered by Bioganix. Drop an email to or phone 01652 637803.


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