Kraft Foods Hits Zero Waste at 36 Plants

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Kraft Foods, maker of the iconic Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner and other food and beverage products, announced that 36 of its manufacturing facilities in 13 countries have achieved zero waste, sending no trash to the landfill. Photo: Flickr/srboisvert

Kraft Foods, maker of the iconic Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner and other food and beverage products, announced last week that 36 of its manufacturing facilities in 13 countries send no waste to landfill.

“We’re waging war on waste, one plant at a time,” said Christine McGrath, Kraft’s vice president of global sustainability, in a statement. “Our strategy is simple: Generate less waste and find new uses for the waste we do produce.”

Manufacturing waste makes up 99 percent of the company’s total trash output, which is why Kraft chose to focus on this waste stream, the company said. Kraft, which also owns such brands as Nabisco, Oreo and Maxwell House, said it now recycles or reuses 90 percent of manufacturing waste and has reduced manufacturing waste companywide by 50 percent since 2005.

Of the plants that have achieved zero waste, 12 are located in North America, while 24 are in Europe.

Kraft’s coffee plant in Vienna, Austria, is just one of the company’s many waste reduction success stories: Since last year, the facility has sent 250 tons of used coffee bean husks to a local biomass plant that generates heat and electricity for the city’s residents.

Closer to home, plants in Fresno and San Leandro, Calif., that make a variety of Kraft products including Cornnuts, Capri Sun and Kool-Aid, have collected more than 100 tons of food waste like corn skins to be used as animal feed since 2009.

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