You might save your leftovers so nothing ends up in the trash, but what about the factory where your food was made and packaged?

Food - Manufacturing bread

STASZ: “The manufacturing sector actually has a great story to tell. The manufacturers are recycling just about ninety-four percent of our food waste.”

That’s Meghan Stasz of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which is part of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. She says manufacturers want to set the bar even higher and keep that last bit of food out of landfills.

That means recycling food scraps by turning them into soup stock or animal feed, eliminating wasteful production practices, and donating to food pantries. For example, Stasz describes how a potpie manufacturer made a change that saved over 230 tons of pie crust in a year:

Meghan Stasz
Meghan Stasz

STASZ: “What their plant team discovered is if they just changed the way they were placing dough in the shell, they could reduce the amount of excess they had to trim off along the edge.”

”Manufacturers Click To Tweet

The change made good business sense. But keeping that pie crust – and other food waste – out of landfills also helped prevent the creation of methane, a powerful global warming gas. By challenging themselves to reduce even more food waste, manufacturers are saving money and the planet.

Reporting credit: Analeah Rosen/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Food manufacturing photo: Copyright protected.

More Resources
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Food Waste Reduction Alliance
Food waste is a global problem (5-part series)

Editor’s note: This transcript was edited and corrected July 13.

Jan O'Brien was assistant editor and website manager at Yale Climate Connections from 2007-2022. She brought more than three decades of experience in environmental publishing and policy research and more...