Good practice

Reusable materials tackle waste in food production

Reusable materials tackle waste in food production
© Glen, image #169142851, source:
Materials, Waste
Food processing
Low cost
Annual saving:
Payback time:
0 Year(s)
Resource savings: Raw material:
4 tonnes per year
Co2 emission reduction:
4.5 tonnes of CO2 per year
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes, Supply operations
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Beginner, Intermediate
One off investment:

Upstream solution to a downstream waste problem

  • Raw materials supplied in large returnable containers
  • Recuced waste by 4 tonnes per year
  • Handling time and workload reduced 

Marie is a French agribusiness specialising in manufacturing and distributing fresh and frozen prepared meals. In 2009, Marie was bought out by the LDC Group which has some 75 production sites across France and Poland. The Saint Didier-sur-Chalaronne branch of Marie, is committed to increasing the resource efficiency of its production processes.

The company took a close look at its production process and realised that the way the food is contained and delivered had a significant impact on waste volumes. It was discovered that ingredients supplied in relatively small 15 kg containers generated around 4 tonnes of waste per year, i.e. more than 9 000 unrecovered buckets, as well as important handling costs.

The company consulted with its supplier to find a more environmentally friendly solution. The ingredients concerned are now delivered in large-volume containers of 1000 litres. These containers are reusable, further reducing waste.

Key benefits

This upstream measure not only saved Marie € 1 000 a year in waste-management costs, it also significantly reduced the volume of packaging, which is a positive development for the environment and for the company's 'green' image. Workers quickly adapted to using the larger containers (no observed increase in spillage), including rinsing buckets for return. This approach can be replicated in all companies currently purchasing ingredients/materials in smaller-volume containers. 


“We want to continue reducing waste on-site. The use of 1 000 litre reusable containers instead of disposable 15 kg plastic buckets has been initiated but still needs to be made more reliable and sustainable from an industrial process point of view.” - Ms Mellet, Quality/Environmental Coordinator, Marie



Want to know if relevant support is offered in your country?