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Special Issue "Sustainable Food Waste Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 2462

Special Issue Editor

Division of Environmental Sciences, College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK
Interests: environmental governance; environmental management; sustainable management of resources and waste; systems thinking; (bio)plastics and (bio)plastic packaging waste management; circular economy models; food waste prevention and management; construction components reuse; e-waste repair; waste infrastructure; informal recycling systems; decision-making tool development; sustainability assessment and evaluation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing amount of food lost or wasted globally represents one of the greatest challenges in promoting resource efficiency and sustainability. Increased population, urbanization, and globalization are likely to increase food demand, effectively leading to an increase in food losses and waste. Therefore, action is needed to ensure that food is managed sustainably at all stages of its lifecycle. A combination of technologies, policies, and management practices aimed at integrating innovation with circularity principles at every stage of the food supply chain and waste management system represents the only pathway to achieving sustainability in this area.

This Special Issue on “Sustainable Food Waste Management” aims to explore, examine, and propose strategies and mechanisms to address food waste management challenges and trade-offs, taking into account whole life considerations. Novel scientific research from across the globe would be incredibly useful in highlighting what the problems are and how we might get them solved, by identifying policies and measures that should be prioritized in order to address the food waste challenge and generate the evidence required to support decision-making.

Dr. Eleni Iacovidou
Guest Editor


  1. Iacovidou, E. and N. Voulvoulis (2018). "A multi-criteria sustainability assessment framework: development and application in comparing two food waste management options using a UK region as a case study." Environmental Science and Pollution Research 25(36): 35821-35834.
  2. Schanes, K., K. Dobernig and B. Gözet (2018). "Food waste matters - A systematic review of household food waste practices and their policy implications." Journal of Cleaner Production 182: 978-991.
  3. Cristóbal, J., V. Castellani, S. Manfredi and S. Sala (2018). "Prioritizing and optimizing sustainable measures for food waste prevention and management." Waste Management 72: 3-16.
  4. Young, W., S. V. Russell, C. A. Robinson and R. Barkemeyer (2017). "Can social media be a tool for reducing consumers’ food waste? A behaviour change experiment by a UK retailer." Resources, Conservation and Recycling 117: 195-203.
  5. Aschemann-Witzel, J., I. De Hooge, P. Amani, T. Bech-Larsen and M. Oostindjer (2015). "Consumer-Related Food Waste: Causes and Potential for Action." Sustainability 7(6): 6457.
  6. Dora, M., D. Van Goubergen, M. Kumar, A. Molnar and X. Gellynck (2014). "Application of lean practices in small and medium-sized food enterprises." British Food Journal 116(1): 125-141.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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.


  • sustainability
  • food waste management
  • food processing
  • food policy
  • surplus food redistribution
  • avoidable food waste
  • food strategies
  • lean manufacturing
  • circularity principles
  • decision-making
  • waste prevention
  • optimization
  • multidimensional value
  • behavioural change

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Understanding Food Waste Produced by University Students: A Social Practice Approach
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10653; - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1848
We use social practice theory to explore food waste produced by university students living in shared apartments. We use qualitative techniques including observation, fridge ethnography, garbology and interviews. The most important factors that led to food waste among university students were a lack [...] Read more.
We use social practice theory to explore food waste produced by university students living in shared apartments. We use qualitative techniques including observation, fridge ethnography, garbology and interviews. The most important factors that led to food waste among university students were a lack of organisation related to the practices of meal planning and shopping, where students did not make lists, plan meals or conduct a food inventory before shopping. Observation of meal preparation revealed that students were unlikely to correctly sort food waste from other sorts of waste, as they did not always have appropriate bins to enable food waste separation. Thus, food waste was not properly disposed of (e.g., composted). Fridge ethnography revealed that both fresh food and leftovers were left or lost in the fridge until no longer edible. Finally, garbology analysis confirmed that a considerable amount of avoidable foods, such as fresh foods and leftovers, were wasted by students and not properly disposed of in curbside composting bins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management)
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