Journal of Environmental Management 157 (2015) 220e229

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An overview of food waste management in developing countries: Current status and future perspective Ngoc Bao Dung Thi a, b, Gopalakrishnan Kumar c, Chiu-Yue Lin a, b, * a

Green Energy Technologies, Ton DucThang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan c Center for Materials Cycles and Waste Management Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan b

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history: Received 9 January 2015 Received in revised form 11 April 2015 Accepted 14 April 2015 Available online

Food waste (FW) related issues in developing countries is currently considered to be a major threatening factor for sustainable development and FW management systems. Due to incomplete FW management systems, many developing countries are facing challenges, such as environmental and sanitary problems that are caused by FW. The difference in FW generation trends between developing countries and developed countries was reviewed in this work, which demonstrated that the effects of income level, population growth, and public participation in FW management are very important. Thus, this work aimed to provide an overview of recycling activities, related regulations, and current FW treatment technology in developing countries by following some case studies. Taiwan, has been suggested as being a successful case in terms of FW management, and is therefore a typical model for developing countries to follow. Finally, an integrative management system as a suitable model for FW management has been suggested for developing countries. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Food waste Food waste recycling Management system Policy and regulation

1. Introduction Food waste (FW) sources in the literature, according to the European Commission (2014), have been classified into three categories: “(i) food losses: food products lost during the production phase; (ii) unavoidable food waste: referring to food products lost during the consumption phase (banana peels, fruit cores, etc); (iii) avoidable food waste: products that could have been eaten, but were lost during the consumption phase.” Depending on each phase of the food supply chain, Gustavsson et al. (2011) separated FW into five generation sources: agricultural production, postharvest handling and storage, processing, distribution and consumption. This work mainly reviews the FW issue where it could be avoidably or unavoidably wasted during the consumption phase. Hence, the suitable definition of FW in this study could follow the definition forwarded by Parfitt et al. (2010) as “food losses occurring at the end of the food chain (retail and final consumption), which relates to retailers' and consumers' behavior,” or by Brian

* Corresponding author. Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan. E-mail address: [email protected] (C.-Y. Lin). 0301-4797/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

et al. (2013) as: “food that is of good quality and fit for human consumption but that does not get consumed because it is discarded either before or after it spoils. Food waste typically, but not exclusively, occurs at the retail and consumption stages in the food value chain and is the result of negligence or a conscious decision to throw food away.” The Gross National Income (GNI) is used to separate the dividing line between developing and developed countries. This GNI is one of main factors relating to the generation rate of FW of a country (Adhikari et al., 2006). According to the International Statistical Institute (2014), developing countries are defined according to their GNI per capita per year. Countries with GNI of US$11,905 and less are defined as developing countries. The present study refers the most recent list of developing countries cited by the International Statistical Institute (2014). In general, developing countries are facing relatively greater challenges in FW management than developed countries. FW is currently an environmental issue because it is not segregated well from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), which contributed to increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in landfills. According to Isabelle Denis (2014) (FAO Liaison Office in Brussels), FW might produce greenhouse gas emissions and therefore has an impact on climate change. Thereafter so countries must identify and

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reduction e reuse e recycle anaerobic digestion Environmental Protection Administration European Union food waste Global Foodbank Network greenhouse gas Gross National Income International Statistical Institute kilowatt-hour megawatt-hour multiple solid waste National Environment Agency Non-Governmental Organizations pay as you throw Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management United States Dollar Waste and Resources Action Programme

implement the important FW management tasks, including prevention, recycling and disposal. An overview of FW management is helpful in solving FW problems in developing countries. This study aims at reviewing the current generation of FW, policies and regulations, treatment or disposal, and also provides future considerations relating to FW management in developing countries. 2. Current status of food waste management in developing countries 2.1. Food waste generation FW generation can be expressed as the total weight of FW per year (tonne/year) and per capita (kg/year or kg/day). The per capita FW by consumers in Europe and North America is 95e115 kg/year, and is 6e11 kg/year in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia (Gustavsson et al., 2011). Recently, Thi et al. (2014) reported that the per capita FW in developed countries and developing countries are 107 kg/year and 56 kg/year, respectively. These values show that FW generation between the developed and developing countries are quite evident with higher living standards resulting in greater FW generation (Brian et al., 2013). This could be explained based on the fact that higher living standards correspond to higher quality and aesthetic standards of food products among consumers in developed countries. Therefore, this results in large amounts of FW generation to meet the food quality demands, such as greater numbers of ingredients that will be needed to produce high quality food. Moreover, consumers could influence the amount of FW produced by retailers. FW- Food products, that are not sold or are expired will be disposed instead of donating it to food banks or charity organizations (Commission European, 2014). Societies with low living standards have lower quality demands for food production, and therefore, the related FW generation per capita is low. However, due to the influence of growing populations and increasing economic challenges, it is assumed that the total FW amount in developing countries is not far less than that in developed countries. The Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2014) has reported that the annual total amounts of global FW generation is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year, with there being no marked difference between those in developed (670 million tonnes) and developing (630 million tonnes) countries. This


result was causing by the current higher populations and greater number of developing countries (assuming underdeveloped economies range from being are booming to developing). At present, the worldwide population in the more developed countries is 1.2 billion, and 6 billion in less developed countries (Bureau Population Reference, 2014). There are a total number of 137 developing countries and 49 developed countries. Among developing countries, especially, China and India, contribute 37% of the total worldwide population (Bureau Population Reference, 2014). Therefore, even though FW generation in developing countries is low and there is less food demand consumption, the total FW generation of developing countries is almost equal to that of developed countries. In order to estimate the current status of FW generation according to amounts in developing countries, this review collected the official FW generation data in some developing countries and developed countries on different continents. Because FW generation pertains to the population growth rate and the GNI index (Adhikari et al., 2006), the present study discussed the country data mainly based on the GNI index. The overview of a FW generation scenario is shown in Table 1. Accordingly, FW in developing countries typically amounted to 50e55% of municipal solid waste (MSW) (Alexis and James, 2009). Table 1 also shows that the portions of FW in MSW in Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico and India were 54.9%, 55%, 52% and 51%, respectively. The high organic fraction indicates high convenience to obtain composting as a FW treatment method in developing nations. Moreover, it has been estimated that the global urban FW is going to increase by 44% between 2005 and 2025 (Antonis, 2013). Due to the rapid economic development that is mostly expected in Asian nations, it is predicted that the largest increase of FW generation in Asia could be from 278 million to 416 million tonnes, which would contribute to global anthropogenic emissions ranging from 8% to 10% (Antonis, 2013). Fig. 1 presents the relationship between GNI per capita and FW per capita in some countries. The trend of FW generation showed that there is a correlation between the income levels (GNI per capita) and the FW generation rate. In developed countries, the trend of FW generation-based GNI is separated into two groups. In the first group, FW generation slowly decreases in correlation with the income level (GNI higher than US$42,000), while the second group FW generation tends to increase (GNI lower than US$42,000). The reasons that distinguish FW generation per capita into two groups are influenced by “zero waste” application. The first group is determined by higher GNI's as developed countries, which are currently adopting a “zero waste” policy to manage their waste, such as in Australia, the United States, Sweden (Song et al., 2014; Swedish Institute, 2014). The principles of “zero waste” in FW focus on increasing the diversion rate and reducing waste generation during the production processes. Waste generation in countries that have “zero waste” policy could mostly approach zero waste, and hence, their real FW generation per capita should slowly decrease (Song et al., 2014). Meanwhile, other developed countries have not moved toward “zero waste” adoption, and therefore, their FW generation per capita is high due to the diversion rate of FW being low, while virgin waste generation during production processes is high. In developing countries, on the other hand, the FW generation trend seems to follow the rule where the wealthier the nations (high GNI per capita), the higher the waste generations (FW per capita). The relative factors on the FW generation rate in developing countries are the population growth and the speed of urbanization, which are related to income levels (Adhikari et al., 2006). For instance, the highest FW generation rate is 0.19 kg/day in Costa Rica (small scale population), and the lowest is 0.06 kg/day in India


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Table 1 Scenarios of food waste generation in different countries. Countrya

GNIb (US$)


Total FW (tonne/year)

FW per capita (kg/day)

FW percentage in entire MSW (%)

Reference e year

Developed countries Australia Denmark

65,520 61,160

23,130,900 5,613,706

2,261,061 790,502

0.25 0.32

40.00 NA







Singapore The United States

54,040 53,670

5,399,200 316,128,839

796,000 60,849,145

0.40 0.52


The Netherlands












The United Kingdom






South Korea Taiwan Developing countries Brazil Turkey

25,920 21,592

50,219,669 23,268,087

6,241,500 2,318,169

0.27 0.23


Liu (2013) ronique et al. (2010) Ve Barbara et al. (2012) ronique et al. (2010) Ve Naturvårdsverket (2010) NEA (2013) Grocery Manufacturers Association (2012) Jean and Jeffrey (2012) ronique et al. (2010) Ve Barbara et al. (2012) ronique et al. (2010) Ve Barbara et al. (2012) WRAP (2013a) WRAP (2013b) Lisa (2013) Taiwan EPA (2013)

11,690 10,950

200,361,925 74,932,641

33,489,000 12,375,000

0.17 0.17

54.90 49.50

Malaysia Mexico Costa Rica Romania South Africa Belarus China Thailand Jamaica The Ukraine Nigeria India Vietnam

10,400 9940 9550 9060 7190 6720 6560 5370 5220 3960 2760 1570 1407

29,716,965 122,332,399 4,872,166 19,963,581 59,590,000 9,466,000 1,357,380,000 65,479,453 2,715,000 45,489,600 173,615,345 1,252,139,596 89,708,900

5,477,263 19,916,000 903,375 3,573,481 9,040,000 903,690 195,000,000 9,312,788 433,333 4,440,000 25,000,000 71,952,838 5,743,056

0.18 0.16 0.19 0.18 0.15 0.10 0.14 0.14 0.16 0.10 0.14 0.06 0.06

55.00 52.00 NA NA NA 27.00 56.60 44.43 53.70 37.00 60.00 51.00 60.00

a b c

Corsten et al. (2012) Kadir and Osman (2011) Ioannis et al. (2013) Zeeda and Keng (2014) María (2011) Dhia et al. (2011) Yan (2014) Margaret (2012) RECO Baltic Tech project (2012) Yang et al. (2012) Alice (2010) Meghan (2014) Sergiy and Vladimir (2012) Ogwueleka (2009) Ranjith (2012),Manipadma (2013) Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam (2011)

Country in each row is listed in descending order of GNI. GNI per capita by country, World Bank data, 2009e2013. Total population by country, World Bank data, 2009e2013.

Fig. 1. Relationship between GNI per capita and FW per capita in some countries.

(large scale population). Increase in population and economic growth in developing countries will result in high amounts of FW. Table 1 also indicates that, among the total amount (630 million

tonnes) of FW generation in all developing countries, China and India were the major contributors, having values of 195 and 72 million tonnes, respectively.

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2.2. Current status of food waste recycling activities in developing countries In developing countries, it is acknowledged that FW is scarcely applied for recycling. The reasons for the poor recovery systems are the absence of an official policy to persuade people to participate in recycling activities, and poor incentives in FW recycling programs (Suchada et al., 2003). For instance, most developing countries in America, such as Brazil and Mexico, currently have poor recycling systems due to there being incomplete legislative frameworks. They also lack sufficient and proper education programs to improve FW's separation and collection rates, a lack of participation by the private sector in recycling and FW diversion activities, and most importantly, limited funding to improve their FW services (Daniel and Natalie, 2007). In 2013, the Malaysian government legislated separation of household waste by using separate bins that include two bins for organic waste and recyclable waste (Alzahrin, 2010). In Thailand, the government encouraged people to separate FW at sources in some cities to reinforce 3Rs implementation, which aims to increase organic waste utilization by 50% before 2026 (Alice and Janya, 2012). Furthermore, their government collaborated with NGO's to administer a composting program by providing free organic waste bins for Thai people. This program has made it more convenient for recycling FW and encouraging composting activities in the whole country (Luis et al., 2012). However, until the present, their FW recycling system could not obtain significant achievements, mainly due to the underdeveloped FW treatment system, poor markets for FW products, and insignificant economic incentives. India has a large amount of FW, but their recycling activities are poor, and the dump sites are mostly used to dispose of organic wastes. Meanwhile, China also has a weak recycling system due to insufficient infrastructure for collection and inadequate treatment facilities. Because of the huge proportion of FW, there are only some large cities, such as Beijing (66.19%) and Shanghai (71.14%) that is implementing waste separation at sources and there being collection at homes, while hotels and restaurants deal with their FW by using biochemical processes. Only seven FW treatment sites are currently operating in China, while nearly 0.9 million tonnes of FW in Beijing, Shanghai and Guilin that is segregated and treated by biochemical processes (Jun et al., 2011). On the contrary, Jamaica also has significant limitations in bringing FW to centralized facilities for recycling. Thus, they depend on private sector to the activate recycling systems. In Nigeria, there are no policies or regulations on FW recycling and management, and therefore, recycling operations are carried out mostly by informal sectors, and only 8% of total FW generation is recycled and used to produce composting (Ogwueleka, 2009). By 2025, the Ukraine is going to optimize its MSW management policy and implement modern technology to recycle 40% of waste materials. The cost and recovery rate for the separate collection system of FW is expected to increase from 200 to 300 V/tonne and 15e30%, respectively. Meanwhile, according to the International Finance Corporation (2012), the total productions of biogas, composting and waste incineration in the Ukraine could recover 30%, 40% and 85% of organic waste, respectively. Moreover, based on specific urban or suburban regions, the recovery rate could be changed. According to Dhia et al. (2011), approximately 58% of the waste in Costa Rica is organic and is around 0.9 million tonnes every year, but their recycling rate is currently less than 50%. In order to increase the efficiency of the recycling system, Costa Rica tried to identify their waste management target by referring to some cases in Brazil, Germany and Taiwan (Dhia et al., 2010, 2011).


2.3. Current food waste treatments There are five popular treatment methods that have been widely applied in developing countries: animal feeding, composting (or organic fertilizer), anaerobic digestion, incineration and landfills. Illegal open dumps and landfills are defined in the literature as primary (common) methods in use due to their high rate of use for treating FW (Adhikari et al., 2006, 2009). Based on the documented data of current FW treatments in developing countries, the common FW treatment method presently is dumps/landfills (with there being an over 90% use rate for FW treatment), and the second most common method is composting (with a rate ranging from 1% to 6%). Anaerobic digestion (with a use rate of under 0.6%) and other treatments, such as incineration and animal feeding are rarely used. a) Application I: Animal feeding In some countries, which have a high demand for animal feeding, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, local laws encourage using FW to feed animals, which composes 33%, 81% and 72.1% of total FW generation, respectively (Gen, 2006; Kim et al., 2011; Taiwan EPA, 2013). In contrast, the separation and collection of FW are not practiced in developing countries, and therefore almost all of generated FW is mixed with MSW, which could not be purified and utilized for animal feeding. b) Application II: Anaerobic digestion Anaerobic digestion (AD) has been widely applied for FW treatment in the European Union and in many Asian developed countries from 2006 onwards (Abbasi, 2012). However, conversely, it is acknowledged in developing countries that AD is still scarcely applied as a major treatment method for FW management. In India and China, various institutes and NGO's have established different kinds of anaerobic digesters on household and commercial scales to develop AD technology for FW treatment (Christian and Dübendorf, 2007). For example, India implemented AD in a pilot scale and opened biogas plants that are used by various institutes. In China, although the full scale of FW-based AD plants has not yet been developed, roughly twenty MSW-, FW- and manure cofermentation-AD projects are under preparation or implementation. However, most of those anaerobic digesters might not function properly due to technical failures, inadequate operations, or management regulations (Christian and Dübendorf, 2007). Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia usually integrate AD with composting for disposal of FW in landfill sites (Forbes et al., 2001). Meanwhile, Jamaica and Thailand have significant achievements in integrating FW treatment facilities using the AD and the aerobic composting process. The Rayong plant of Thailand uses MSW organic waste as food vegetable and fruit waste to generate organic fertilizer and biogas (Christian and Dübendorf, 2007). Jamaica has the CaribShare Biogas Group which treats FW via AD to generate electricity for supplying power in rural communities (Meghan, 2014). c) Application III: Composting Composting is an efficient method for disposal of FW in developing countries. Currently, there are more than 70 composting facilities in India treating mixed MSW, which recycles up to 5.9% of a total FW amount to generate about 4.3 million tonnes of compost each year. Almost all composting facilities handle mixed wastes, and two plants in Vijayawada and Suryapetare are known to handle source separated organic wastes (Ranjith, 2012). In Thailand, composting is commonly used for organic solid waste treatment.


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Currently, according to the Pollution Control Department and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (2010), the utilization system recycles about 0.59 million tonnes of FW that had been composted to produce organic fertilizer and biogas. The National 3Rs Strategy mentioned implementing compost and AD to improve FW utilization by 5% by 2016 (Alice and Janya, 2012). Vermicomposting has been undertaken by the Malaysian government as a primary national plan in order to utilize FW to produce bio-fertilizer (Abdul, 2010). However, in fact, there still remain some inefficiencies of composting production caused by unpurified waste feedstock, which results from the incomplete sourceseparated FW system in most developing countries. As a result, the composting-market is weak, and FW-composts need to compete with various chemical fertilizers that cause dilemmas for the operations and investments of composting facilities. For example, although International NGO's have programs to subsidize the costs for developing countries to establish small scale composting to enhance awareness of FW recycling in some African countries such as Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria and Asian countries, the composting quality could not be improved (Luis et al., 2012). d) Application IV: Incineration Incineration is an efficient way to reduce waste volume and demand for landfill space. Therefore, this method is used in many countries, including the United States and Singapore (Khoo et al., 2010). In comparison with other treatments, incineration is a costly method (high capital and maintenance cost). It also requires highly technical operations and costly instruments for controlling gas emission residues (World Bank Technical Report, 1999). In developing countries, incineration is uncommon for FW treatment, with Brazil and Ukraine being examples (Julian and Jutta, 2011; International Finance Corporation, 2012). e) Application V: Landfill Open dumps or landfills are the major FW treatment methods in all developing countries, which are estimated to be around 90% of total FW disposal by landfills. Many new landfills collect potentially harmful landfill gas emissions and convert the gas into energy (U.S. EPA. 2014). A large number of countries, including Brazil, Turkey, Malaysia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Romania, South Africa, Belarus, China, Jamaica, Ukraine, Nigeria, and Vietnam are currently disposing unsorted FW by landfills, and an estimated 20%e80% of global FW has not yet been sorted from MSW (Adhikari et al., 2006). In the literature, landfills practice is not considered to be a feasible method for treatment of FW because of its biodegradability, and FW in landfills can result in disease vectors (Louis, 2004). Additionally, landfilling FW can increase greenhouse gas emissions at a rate of 8% (Adhikari et al., 2009). 2.4. Current policies and regulations on food waste management in developing countries To date, most developing countries have not widely practiced FW recycling and the regulations for FW management are quite incomplete. As a result, most FW is mixed with MSW and landfilled. The recent policies, regulations, and official plans addressing FW in some countries are shown in Table 2. In Thailand, there are some pertinent regulations mentioning FW management: the National 3Rs Strategy (2011) and the National Climate Change Strategy (2007e2011). The FW's national reduction target is 5%, 30% and 50% by 2016, 2021 and 2026, respectively (Alice and Janya, 2012). In Brazil, the draft Waste Law targets

reducing waste disposal at landfills for both dry recyclable waste and wet organic waste by about 36% and 53%, respectively by 2031 (Corsten et al., 2012). Turkey promulgated the by-law on landfill of waste, which aims to decrease the amount of landfilled FW by operating composting facilities and facilities for electricity production from methane gas; and carried out the EU Landfill Directive by 2025 for reducing of biodegradable waste amounts (Ioannis et al., 2013). Another case that can be cited is Malaysia, which is a developing country that has rarely ordered the implementation of FW management by law. The Solid Waste and Part X of the SWPCM Act 2007 were promulgated to emphasize the 3Rs and brought major positive changes to the management of FW in Malaysia (Abdul, 2010). China also has some specified policies and regulations on FW management, such as: the Food Security Law; a State council circular to further enhance grain saving and FW reduction; and China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011e2015) for Environmental Protection (Liu, 2013). However, government ministries and agencies in China are currently working rather independently. That causes the inefficiency in implementing FW policies and regulations in China. Some other countries, such as Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, India and the Ukraine have co-operated with NGO's to run projects and campaigns in order to motivate FW green treatments (composting and AD), or improve awareness of FW management among the public (Christian and Dübendorf, 2007; Luis et al., 2012). However, these governments have not yet promulgated specific regulations to implement FW management at national levels. Generally, even though a few countries have paid attention to FW management, detailed stipulations by law remain incomplete, or some of these forms of draft legislation have not yet been approved or have not yet entered into force. Most budgets for recycling activities and projects come from overseas aid budgets, such as NGOs and the World Bank, while developing countries set a low budget for segregating activities and establishing FW treatment facilities (Prasad et al., 2011). It is clear that the main problems of properly managing FW in many developing countries are inadequate administrative measures and poor budget allocations to enhance recycling activities. Moreover, the experiences from developed countries have shown that a country could not solve its FW issue if a government does not establish the specified objectives for reducing FW and implement comprehensive legislative regulations. 3. Determining advantages, disadvantages and remedies for FW management in developing countries 3.1. Advantages Firstly, South Africa is a case where auditing takes place through some worldwide leftover food donors from agriculture, food producers, manufacturers, retailers, government agencies and individuals as a part of the Global Food-bank Network (GFN). This organization is responsible for making provisions for poverty relief or charity. The food donations platform is a good practice that could save about 6000 tonnes of food every year (Margaret, 2012). This platform needs to be extended to other countries, including either developed or developing countries. Secondly, Jamaica's case elucidates that the private sector could play an important role in FW recycling. In this case, the government does not have any rules or policies on FW management, and the initial contribution from the private sector, such as the CaribShare Biogas is very significant. This innovative solution not only helps Jamaica to utilize and dispose of organic waste sustainably, but also provides access to clean energy (Meghan, 2014). Thirdly, the current MSW management policies in most

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Table 2 Recent policies, regulations and official plans addressing food waste in some countries. Regulations, policies, and plans Brazil National Policy on Solid Waste (Law 12.305/ 2010)

Costa Rica Law for an Integrated Management of Residues

China - Food Security Law - State council circular to further enhance grain saving and FW reduction - China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011e2015) for Environmental Protection Malaysia Solid waste Management Act and Public Cleansing 2007 Thailand National 3Rs Strategy and the 3Rs Act Turkey - The by-law on Landfill (No:27533 2012/03)



- The EU Landfill Directive (99/31/EC) will be carried out by 2025

Main content

Issuing date

Issuing division

Closuring of all open dumps by 2014. Separation and collection recyclable waste and wet organic waste are aimed at 36%, 53%, respectively, by 2031.


Brazilian government

The law is to provide the necessary legislation to regulate and organize a comprehensive national plan for the management of solid waste.


Costa Rican government

Regulations on safety issues of FW treatment. Detailed countermeasures on organizing, educating, supervising, and inspecting the work on food waste reduction in China. Detailed plan for household waste collection and treatment (a safe treatment rate of 80% in urban areas by 2015).


Chinese government


State Council


Ministry of Environmental Protection

Segregating household waste at home by separated bins include organic bin and recyclable waste material bin.

Gazetted on 2007/08/30 and enforced on 2011/09/01

Malaysian government

The 3Rs Strategy aims to increase organic waste utilization by 50% before 2026.

Draft (be issued soon)

Pollution Control Department

The law aimed to decrease the amount of landfilled FW by operating composting facilities and facilities for electricity production from methane gas. The EU Landfill Directive will be carried out by 2025 for reducing of biodegradable waste amounts.


Turkish government


European Parliament

developing countries are starting to mention and have regard for FW solutions. Therefore, it is an advantage for governments in promulgating specific management policies for FW, or FW management regulations could be integrated as a section in the whole MSW management system. Fourthly, FW via AD in small scale biogas facilities is suitable for large regions that have temperate weather conditions favoring long operation. India has large areas and long distances between communities, and therefore AD technology is a favorable solution for decentralized FW treatment (Ranjith, 2012). For instance, in southern and western India, there are 20,000 households that have biogas units installed to overcome FW issues and produce biogas (Ranjith, 2012). This pattern does not only imply reducing collection and transportation costs, but also helps prevent GHG emissions. By being able to bring economic and environmental benefits, it could be spread and popularized on large scales in many countries. In the recent past and the future, the growth of innovative technologies will contribute to addressing the FW issue. Moreover, the transfer of technologies and lessons learned from developed countries will also definitely give developing countries shortcuts to comprehend their FW management systems. For example, China is applying biochemical processes as a new kind of technology to handle their FW in the three big cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guilin (Jun et al., 2011). Thailand has targeted increasing the utilization rate of FW up to 50% in 2026 by installing an integrated biodigester system to sort organic waste and mechanical-biological treatment for unsorted organic waste (Alice and Janya, 2012).

3.2. Disadvantages The World Bank estimates that developing countries spend most of their MSW management budget for collections and landfills (80%), while developed countries spend less than 10% of the total budget for collection, and allow large funds for segregating activities, establishing treatment facilities and conducting waste management programs to enhance communities' awareness of waste recycling and recovery (Prasad et al., 2011). Therefore, the general situation of FW in developing countries could be found as legislatively mismanaged with unsorted FW being disposed in landfills without segregation. Moreover, most countries have not received enough concern from stakeholders who must be integrated and guided to solve FW issues (Liu, 2013). Regarding the impact of consumer's behavior that affects FW generation at the consumption phase, it is found that at a high education level (developed countries), FW is mostly generated “before the meal,” while in low and middle education level (developing countries), FW occurs “after the meal,” due to the people in developing countries generally not paying much attention to how their FW will be disposed (Maaike, 2014). Meanwhile people in developed countries generally have a perception about the importance of not throwing away food. It means that the awareness of communities in separating, collecting and utilizing FW in developing countries is quite poor, and are still influenced by wasteful consumption habits, while in restaurants, markets or retail outlets, the unsold commodities and FW are directly turned into MSW, since there are no guidelines or regulations to persuade people to save and recycle FW (Maaike, 2014). In addition, although FW management policy is promulgated while it is not enforced by governments, it could fail in wide


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applications. This issue could be found in the MSW management in Vietnam (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam (2011)) and China (Liu, 2013). 3.3. Remedies for food waste management in developing countries Based on the previous analysis results of advantages and disadvantages, the remedies for FW treatment are discussed to eliminate disadvantages, and implement FW management in developing countries. The seven following remedies were suggested to help developing countries in consolidating their FW management systems. eAt present, some developing countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand, have implemented FW management systems into their legislative framework. However, their practice is still weak due to there being an inadequate budget for recycling activities (Alzahrin, 2010; Alice and Janya, 2012). Therefore, the first priority should be for these governments to set up the appropriate technical separation and collection in an FW management system that could be integrated with the MSW management system. The formal collection sectors need to be set up with an infrastructure and budgets support for longterm operations. eDeveloping countries currently spend most of their budget on landfills to treat FW, which then results in there being inadequate funds for recycling FW activities and investing in FW treatment facilities (Prasad et al., 2011). Governments need to strengthen financial and mechanism incentives for shifting innovative forms of technology (e.g. anaerobic digestion, biochemical treatment) to improve FW recycling efficiency. Changes in legislation and business behavior toward a sustainable food production, e.g. the closed-loop supply chain model, are necessary to reduce FW production (Parfitt et al., 2010). eGovernments need to establish a food bank on a national scale and link with the international food bank of the World Bank to develop a food donation platform. By donating wholesome food from post-harvest phases (food loss from farmers) and unsold food from the consumption phase (FW from retailers and wholesalers) to the food bank, it is expected that millions of hungry people could be fed worldwide and also manage FW (Brian et al., 2013). For instance, the food bank in South Africa (Margaret, 2012), and the SecondBite facilities in Australia work as nonprofit organization in collecting food from donors and then distributing it to communities suffering from malnutrition (Brian et al., 2013). eThe review of policy literature on FW management in China (Liu, 2013) and Vietnam (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam (2011)) revealed that national policies and regulations relevant to FW have been promulgated. However, the policies and regulations deal with waste in general, and are not specifically adapted to the FW issue. In addition, the relevant government ministries and agencies work independently, which results in inefficient implementation of FW policies and regulations. Therefore, the governments need to force the stakeholders to work together to address FW issues from the highest level to local level committees, and introducing a law to ban FW from landfills is necessary in order to elevate environmental friendly FW treatment forms of technology. eThe stimulation of FW production markets is important. Especially, developing countries with economies largely based on agriculture, such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, where FW recycling activities for providing bio-composts and biofertilizers should be encouraged. Governments should offer financial incentives to motivate their domestic facilities in

recycling FW. Besides, governments also need to promote or enforce agriculture, forestation and encourage the public to use bio-productions while considering shifting chemical-composts through bio-composts. eIn developing countries that heavily depend on livestock, such as China, India and Mexico, animal feeding should be adapted, since this treatment is low cost and is practiced easily. Developing countries could therefore overcome the growing demand of feed costs and also help prevent climate change through FW matter disposal. eFinally, there is a need to enhance community awareness on the FW issue and shift consumer behavior to reduce FW production. There is a pressing need for expanding campaigns, projects and concepts associated with FW recycling in developing nations, such as “Food Waste into Energy” (in the United States), “Love Food-Hate Waste” (in the United Kingdom), and “Zero Waste” strategy (in Europe). Moreover, there are some important issues that governments should consider when designing their FW management systems. The governments primarily need to review the whole existing management systems, regulations, and forms of technology. At the national levels, governments should play a primary role of setting standards, providing funding, and establishing short- and longterm targets for FW management. At the local levels, the roles and responsibilities of related stakeholders need to be identified, which plays an important role in managing FW activities to achieve national targets. Implementing an integrative FW management plan is an ongoing process, and therefore governments need to adjust their systems concurrently, including repeating estimation and comparison to choose the best activities. Ultimately, the overall system must contribute to providing public education, approaching future considerations, and keeping the community involved in each step of the whole process. Fig. 2 illustrates how to design an integrative FW management system. 4. Lessons learned and future perspectives 4.1. Case lesson learned for FW management in developing countries The case lesson learned and mentioned in Taiwan, which has high incomes, is that it has been successful in establishing an integrative management system for FW. Taiwan has a successful waste management system due to the combination of integration technologies with strong government enforcement for appropriate policies. The FW management model of Taiwan could probably be applied to address the FW issue in developing countries (Chang et al., 2008). For instance, Costa Rica has improved their waste management system based on referring to the Taiwan case (Dhia et al., 2010, 2011). Fig. 3 summarizes the establishment process of integrative FW management system in Taiwan. Taiwan has particularly reached the integrative waste management system targets through a combination of education, incentives, and commandand-control techniques. Taiwan has also built a flexible economic mechanism to provide incentives to achieve both environmental goals, and has gained benefits for municipalities. Since 2001, the Taiwanese Protection Administration (EPA) has established their kitchen waste collection and recycling programs throughout the nation, from local towns to main cities to expand kitchen waste recycling efforts (Taiwan EPA, 2013). In 2002, Taiwan executed a program called “Total Recycling for Kitchen Garbage,” which targeted segregating and collecting FW from residential areas, restaurants, and hotels (Chang et al., 2008). The collected FW was used for animal feeding (80%) and producing

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Fig. 2. Steps of designing an integrative FW management system.

Fig. 3. The establishment process of integrative food waste management system in Taiwan.

fertilizer (20%) (Chen et al., 2008). Their total waste recycle rate has increased gradually by about 5% annually, and the goal was to reach 35%. In 2003, the national program of FW recycling became an official part of the Executive Yuan, and the EPA has budgeted for its nationwide recycling FW activities. In six consecutive years (from 2003 to 2008), the Taiwan EPA ran an integration program named the “National Development Plan e Green Industry e Resource Recycling and Reuse Program,” which provide incentive mechanisms to stimulate industrial and private sectors to establish FW recycling and reuse facilities. At present, the national program of FW recycling has been incorporated into a “Public Development Program-General Waste Resource Recycling Promotion Program” to achieve an environmentally sound treatment of FW and to complement the “Zero Waste” policy (Taiwan EPA, 2013).

In addition, Taiwan has an appropriate recycling fund named “Taiwan EPA's Recycling Funds,” which subsidizes licensed collectors and recyclers to improve FW segregation, collection, and recycling activities. On the other hand, in order to build up their recycling fund, the government issued the “Waste Disposal Act,” which requires residents to recycle twelve types of waste items. In case manufacturers and residents do not follow the rule, they must pay a fine and the waste-collection crews may refuse to collect their waste. The command-and-control action of FW management was successfully carried out, which enforced how whole communities were to improve the recycling rate of FW, and is extended further towards a Zero Waste Society (Chang et al., 2008; Taiwan EPA, 2008). Through the combined efforts of the Taiwanese EPA and local


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governments, approximately 2100 tonnes of FW is recycled every day (Chang et al., 2008; Chen et al., 2008; Taiwan EPA, 2008). It regularly produces economic benefits about of 2.7 billion New Taiwan dollars each year (Taiwan EPA, 2013), with the biggest achievement being enhancing awareness and popularizing FW recycling activities among the whole Taiwanese community. Remarkably, the FW recycling program has been awarded the National Sustainable Development Award for its contribution to increase the recycling rate and tend Taiwan towards becoming a Zero Waste Society. Taiwan's experiences have also received international praises and have become an exported lesson learned (Taiwan EPA, 2013). Taiwan's lesson relates to the current issue of FW management in developing countries. Hence, this lesson could be considered as a suitable method for developing countries. 4.2. Future perspectives A completely set-up FW management system could bring more future perspectives towards sustainable development in developing countries, including: eAccording to a case study of Lou et al. (2013), FW could be diverted to produce heat or electricity through AD, which could solve energy issues. It is reported that one tonne of FW could potentially produce 247 m3 methane and generate approximately 89.78 GJ heating potential or electrical generation amounting to 847 kWe (Lou et al., 2013). ePromoting FW recycling activities could help developing countries mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. It was demonstrated that one tonne of household's FW could generate a carbon impact exceeding 3.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (Peter et al., 2010). Therefore, within high efforts in the prevention of climate change, FW management efforts will play an important role in environmental pollutant controls. e“Wealth from Waste” is a suitable term to describe FW composting and animal feeding activities. Countries with agriculture-based economies, such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, have high demands for fertilizers, and therefore, applicable solutions for using FW to produce bio-fertilizers is ideal, while animal feeding is a suitable method for countries that have large amounts of livestock, such as China, India and Mexico. 5. Conclusions This review article concludes that in developing countries, FW management is seriously lacking in whole management systems and among legislative measures. The case study of Taiwan was suggested as an adaptable model for developing countries to improve their current FW management systems. In addition, an integrative FW management system was further recommended in order to guide governments to systematize and design their FW management systems. Ultimately, by making efforts in implementing FW management systems, the future perspective of FW management in developing countries could create opportunities in handling energy demands and moving toward sustainable development. Acknowledgments The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial supports by Taiwan's Bureau of Energy (grant no. 102-D0616), Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST102-2221-E-035-002-MY3 and MOST103-2923-E-035-001-MY3), Ton Duc Thang University and Feng Chia University (FCU-10G27101).

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An overview of food waste management in developing countries: Current status and future perspective.

Food waste (FW) related issues in developing countries is currently considered to be a major threatening factor for sustainable development and FW man...
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