3.2.1 Waste within the production chain

During the production of goods, large volumes of valuable materials are lost between the initial resource extraction processes and the final manufacturing process.

The Sustainable Europe Institute (SERI) estimates annual manufacturing processes in OECD countries consume over 21 billion tonnes of materials that are not part of the final products created. In other words, these materials never utilized in the economic system, such as extracted by-products materials from mining, by-catch from fishing, collateral losses from logging and agricultural harvesting, and soil excavation and dredging from construction.

A Food Industry and Waste Example

Worldwide, about one –third of all food produced ($US 1 trillion) gets lost of wasted within the production, distribution and consumption systems. Food loss occur mainly during the production stages (harvesting, processing, distribution) while food wastes occur at the end of the food supply chain (retailer, consumer).

Source: FAO (2011)
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