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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 827; doi:10.3390/su9050827

Comparative LCA of Alternative Scenarios for Waste Treatment: The Case of Food Waste Production by the Mass-Retail Sector

1
Department of Business Studies, University of Roma Tre, Via Silvio D’Amico n. 77, 00145 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Economics, University of Messina, Piazza Pugliatti n.1, 98122 Messina, Italy
3
Department of Economics, Business and Statistics Science, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessandro Ruggieri
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
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Abstract

Food waste is one of the most important issues taken into account by the European Union due to its negative environmental, economic and social impacts. The treatment of food waste through recycling processes represents a solution for food waste minimisation. Concerning, in particular, the retail sector, it is necessary to define strategies for retail-oriented sustainable food waste management. The aim of this study is to compare the potential environmental impacts related to five scenarios (landfill, incineration, composting, anaerobic digestion and bioconversion through insects) for the disposal/treatment of food waste produced by a mass retail company operating in Messina (Italy) through the application of the Life Cycle Assessment method, in order to find the best treatment solution. Results based on the treatment of a functional unit of 1 tonne of food waste show that the bioconversion scenario represents the most preferable solution considering all of the impact categories analysed through the CML 2 baseline 2000 method, except for Global Warming, for which higher environmental performances are connected to the anaerobic digestion scenario. The incineration and the bioconversion scenarios show the highest environmental benefits when the production of alternative energy sources and valuable materials is evaluated through the inclusion of the avoided productions in the analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: food waste; Life Cycle Assessment; mass-retail; supermarkets; alternative scenarios; landfill; incineration; composting; biogas; bioconversion food waste; Life Cycle Assessment; mass-retail; supermarkets; alternative scenarios; landfill; incineration; composting; biogas; bioconversion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mondello, G.; Salomone, R.; Ioppolo, G.; Saija, G.; Sparacia, S.; Lucchetti, M.C. Comparative LCA of Alternative Scenarios for Waste Treatment: The Case of Food Waste Production by the Mass-Retail Sector. Sustainability 2017, 9, 827.

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