Mash reveals more about its mission to become waste-free
At Mash, we believe that delivering excellence in business, produce and service means also providing real benefit to the communities around us and the planet we live on. So, we are committed to becoming a totally waste-free operation and through the innovative and imaginative recycling and re-use of our raw materials, help sustain and improve the food chain and feed those in need of care and support.
FOOD WASTE AND THE FELIX PROJECT
We work very closely with The Felix Project, a truly thought-provoking and inspiring local charity, that collects good quality food from suppliers and redistributes to charities and schools so that those most vulnerable get a healthy meal or snack. Put simply, they save food and help to change lives.
The relationship with The Felix Project is brilliant, each day one of their drivers pops into Mash and collects our “less than perfect” produce – this is still first-class quality fruit and veg, both fresh and prepared, but not the quality that we would want to send out to our customers. We are the biggest fresh produce supplier to The Felix Project and in 2018 our donations equated to an estimated 143,752 meals!
We hope that you share our passion for working to reduce food waste and helping those most in need. Please take a look at the video below to see the journey our food takes and click the logo for more info on The Felix Project!
FOOD WASTE AND THE BIOGEN PROCESS
Any unconsumable food waste, mostly peelings etc from our prepared produce, is sent for the process of Anaerobic Digestion to produce Biogas (electricity) and fertiliser.
What is Anaerobic Digestion?
Anaerobic digestion is the process by which organic matter such as animal or food waste is broken down to produce biogas and biofertiliser. This process happens in the absence of oxygen in a sealed, oxygen-free tank called an anaerobic digester. Anaerobic digestion is recognised by the government, Defra, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, Friends of the Earth and the National Farmers Union as one of the best methods for food waste recycling. The word Anaerobic actually means ‘in the absence of oxygen’. The biogas naturally created in the sealed tanks is used as a fuel in a combined heat and power unit to generate renewable energy i.e. electricity and heat. What’s left from the process is a nutrient-rich biofertiliser which is pasteurised to kill any pathogens and stored in large covered tanks ready to be applied twice a year on farmland in place of fossil fuel derived fertilisers. Every tonne of food waste recycled by anaerobic digestion as an alternative to landfill prevents between 0.5 and 1.0 tonne of CO2 entering the atmosphere, one of the many benefits of anaerobic digestion.
We love recycling here at Mash and even have a dedicated on-site recycling centre for all internal waste. We are proud to say that we are recycling 100% of all waste streams (food, cardboard, plastic & wood).
We send our soft plastic to be converted into refuse-derived fuel, which is recycled by turning the waste into energy achieving 100% landfill avoidance. The cardboard is turned into pulp for paper. The wood is turned into furniture.
We have also been working closely with our suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging coming into the warehouse and subsequently going out to our customers. All deliveries are packed in Mash recyclable biodegradable boxes which we then collect from our customers and recycle back at Mash HQ. We are currently reviewing all packaging alternatives to see where we can further reduce packaging or move to alternatives such as biodegradable packaging.
Over here at Mash HQ, we try to be as energy efficient as possible. We have solar panels on our distribution centre roof, the energy collected from these is shown on a live screen and used to run the lighting in our canteen as well as power our electric car charge points.
We also have a rainwater system to collect and reuse all rainwater. We have intelligent lighting throughout the building. The clever sensors ensure the lights are only on when we are physically present, they turn off automatically when no movement is detected.
We try to limit printing unless necessary and recycle all paper and printer cartridges.
Our general waste is also sent for further processing to ensure nothing gets missed!