Special Issue "Food Loss and Waste: The Challenge of a Sustainable Management through a Circular Economy Perspective"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Luca Secondi
Website
Guest Editor
Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-Food and Forest Systems (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: consumer behavior; demand analysis; food waste; circular economy models; household living standards; local-level estimates
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ludovica Principato
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business Studies, Roma Tre University, 00145 Rome, Italy
Interests: consumer behavior; sustainable consumption; food waste; sharing economy; circular economy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the importance of monitoring and reducing food loss and waste (FLW) throughout the entire food supply chain (FSC) has been widely recognized. From this perspective, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the UN foresees to “halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses” (SDG Indicator 12.3).

The reduction of FLW has also been recently observed at a European level, with the directive amending the European Waste Framework Directive, according to which the effective reduction of FLW and the improved resource use efficiency should pass from a circularity approach within the entire FSC. Indeed, by facilitating the transition to a more sustainable management of materials, it would be possible to contribute to the aim of “smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth” foreseen by the European common strategy.

Furthermore, bearing in mind the global environmental impacts of food wastage, the importance on concentrating on FLW produced along the entire food supply chain has emerged as an effective starting point for quantifying the overall amount of wastage produced, emphasizing possible prevention actions, as well as re-using and valorising waste.

This Special Issue focuses on the sustainable management of FLW through stimulating contributions that address the valorisation of FLW from both business and consumer perspectives. Therefore, we anticipate contributions covering applied research focused on the following: (i) business case-studies and solutions emphasizing the valorisation of loss, by-products, and waste in the various stages of FSC; (ii) the role of digital innovation and reinvention, as well as of social-medias, for preventing, monitoring, and reducing FLW; and (iii) the investigation of the active role consumers play both when purchasing and consuming food (at home or out-of-home). Moreover, with the aim of emphasizing the importance of re-using resources throughout the FSC, methodologic contributions aimed at improving the methodologies and processes for collecting reliable data on loss and waste are also welcome.

Main References:

  • Principato, L., Ruini, L., Guidi, M., & Secondi, L. (2019). Adopting the circular economy approach on food loss and waste: The case of Italian pasta production. Resources, Conservation and Recycling144, 82-89.
  • Corrado, S., Caldeira C, Eriksson M, Hanssen OJ, Hauser HE, Holsteijn FH, Liu G, Östergren K, Parry A, Secondi L, Stenmarck Å, Sala, S. Food waste accounting methodologies: Challenges, opportunities, and further advancements. Global Food Security, 20, 93-100
  • Principato, L. (2018). Food Waste at Consumer Level: A Comprehensive Literature Review. Springer.
  • Principato, L., Pratesi, C. A., & Secondi, L. (2018). Towards Zero Waste: an Exploratory Study on Restaurant managers. International Journal of Hospitality Management74, 130-137.
  • Secondi, L., Principato, L., & Laureti, T. (2015). Household food waste behaviour in EU-27 countries: A multilevel analysis. Food Policy56, 25-40.

Dr. Luca Secondi
Dr. Ludovica Principato
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food loss and waste
  • Sustainable waste management
  • Food supply chain
  • Circular economy
  • Food surplus
  • Food waste behaviour

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Urban Food Waste: A Framework to Analyse Policies and Initiatives
Resources 2020, 9(9), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9090099 - 20 Aug 2020
Abstract
Food waste policy analysis has traditionally concentrated on supranational or national policies and paid little attention to the role of cities in tackling this phenomenon. Nevertheless, cities have proved to be crucial actors in tackling food waste, launching effective policies and initiatives to [...] Read more.
Food waste policy analysis has traditionally concentrated on supranational or national policies and paid little attention to the role of cities in tackling this phenomenon. Nevertheless, cities have proved to be crucial actors in tackling food waste, launching effective policies and initiatives to address it. By looking at 40 cities across 16 European countries, this study aims to present a new framework for assessing urban food waste policies and initiatives. The framework proposed identifies and sheds light on the links between the different types of policies launched, the main areas of interventions addressed, as well as the different actors intervening in urban food waste management. Finally, it identifies direct and indirect links with the Sustainable Development Goals, showing the role that cities can play in achieving the targets of the UN 2030 Agenda. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Assessment of Food Redistribution Initiatives in Sweden
Resources 2020, 9(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9030027 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Food banks that redistribute surplus food from retailers and the food industry to people in need are not a new concept globally, but their connection to food waste prevention is new. As a result, new types of food redistribution units are emerging and [...] Read more.
Food banks that redistribute surplus food from retailers and the food industry to people in need are not a new concept globally, but their connection to food waste prevention is new. As a result, new types of food redistribution units are emerging and diversifying to find new target groups and distribution methods. The aim of this study was to identify and study surplus food redistribution units in Sweden, and then to assess the impact on several sustainability indicators for selected redistribution units, in order to increase knowledge on the types of values these redistribution concepts generate. The methods used for analyzing the scenarios were Environmental Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Costing and Social Life Cycle Assessment. The results showed that providing food bags to socially exposed people generated the largest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per kg of redistributed food (−1.2 kg CO2 eq./FU). Reprocessing surplus food to a high-quality end-product was attributed a high social value, due to job creation effects in the high number of working hours required per kg of redistributed food. With regard to economic impacts, all but two scenarios studied had monthly financial losses, and therefore needed other sources of financial support. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Consumers’ Perception of Discounted Suboptimal Products at Retail Stores
Resources 2019, 8(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030129 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Following the increasing pressure to reduce food waste at supermarkets, many retailers are starting initiatives to prevent the disposal of food items or to manage the waste produced in a more sustainable way. The practice of applying discounts on close-to-date and other suboptimal [...] Read more.
Following the increasing pressure to reduce food waste at supermarkets, many retailers are starting initiatives to prevent the disposal of food items or to manage the waste produced in a more sustainable way. The practice of applying discounts on close-to-date and other suboptimal products is becoming popular, as reducing price pushes consumers to accept small defects of food products. Here, the attitude of 218 supermarket customers towards these discounts is analysed, basing on a questionnaire survey. Two-thirds of the sample declare to be interested in discounts on close-to-date products; the determinants of this interest are studied through a Generalized Maximum Entropy model against a set of socio-demographic and behavioral factors. Results suggest that the interest towards discounts on close-to-date product is primarily driven by a general attitude to save money in food shopping. However, an interesting positive effect is observed for the use of a shopping list at the supermarket, which may be linked to a greater attention on food planning and, consequently, to a lower production of food waste at home. In conclusion, date-based pricing seems to be an effective strategy to address food waste reduction in a sustainable management perspective, for its attractive capacity on different profiles of consumers. Full article
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