Circular economy good practices in waste management and prevention in the food system

Chiara Nobili1, Francesca Cappellaro2

1 AgriFood Sustainability, Quality and Safety lab, Biotechnologies and Agroindustry Division Department for Sustainability, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, ENEA C.R. Casaccia, Via Anguillarese, 301, 00123 Rome, Italy
2 Circular Economy Section, Department for Sustainability, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, ENEA C.R. Bologna, Via Martiri Monte Sole,4, 40129 Bologna, Italy

Abstract


The food system is one of the most important sectors affecting the transition to a circular economy. Through more efficient use of resources, a circular economy in the food system can contribute to economic growth and climate change mitigation, creating new market opportunities. Food loss, waste and surplus are in fact, related to the inefficient use of resources. All these inefficiencies throughout the various phases of the food system generate impacts not only at the environmental, but also at the societal level. This paper aims to identify strategies associated to innovative food system good practices that support more efficient food waste prevention and management and the adoption of a circular economy approach. For this purpose, 56 circular economy good practices related to the food system were analysed. This work is based on studies carried out in Italy in the framework of the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholders Platform referring to European circular economy good practice criteria. An official definition of a circular economy good practice has not yet been worked out, but this study singled out new approaches to classifying and analysing them for future implementation of circular economy standards. Moreover, the analysis made it possible to identify gaps in the food system and the strategic actions needed to close them through a systemic and integrated approach covering the various phases of the food system.

Keywords


circular economy; food system; food waste prevention; food waste reduction; good practices

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