How the Food and Beverage Industry Can Develop a Circular Economy


It’s no secret that the food and beverage industry has a less-than-spectacular environmental record. Food and agriculture account for 26% of global emissions and 70% of freshwater withdrawals. The world needs this sector, but it also needs sustainability, so something has to change.Much of the industry’s environmental impact is the result of waste, either in production or consumption. If it could reduce this waste, it could become far more environmentally friendly. A circular economy would help it achieve that goal.Here’s a closer look at how circular economies lead to sustainability and how food and beverage companies could implement them.What Is a Circular Economy?Traditional economies follow a straight line, flowing from production to consumption to disposal. Given a finite amount of resources, this method will eventually deplete anything that can’t regenerate fast enough. By contrast, a circular economy aims to reuse and recycle instead of generating more trash. It flows in a circle instead of a line.Rather than viewing products as something with a limited lifespan, it considers how to turn waste into resources. It maximizes the utility of all products and materials, conserving resources and avoiding waste. This model mimics nature, so an industry as nature-centric as food production is …

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