A guide to assist AD operators that accept food waste in liners

This guidance will help AD operators to limit the amount of plastic that ends up in digestate as a result of food waste caddy liners. 

Liners are known to increase public participation in food waste recycling, and local authorities are increasingly allowing householders to use plastic (PE) liners as opposed to more costly compostable liners. 

This poses a challenge to AD operators who process that food waste, because liners in AD systems can causes operational and quality issues. If a digestate product contains significant amounts of plastic or compostable liners, it will fail to comply with PAS 110

To address this challenge, WRAP has consulted with relevant stakeholders to produce guidance that will ensure food waste collection and treatment systems are more closely aligned. Standard Operating Procedures have been developed to assist AD operators in limiting the amount of plastic and compostable liners that end up in digestate. They include:

  • Contractual specifications
  • Pre-waste acceptance procedures
  • On-site waste acceptance procedures
  • Identification of contamination prior to treatment
  • Removal and management of contamination

There are also recommendations for increasing collaboration between those producing the waste, those collecting it, and AD operators; and for staff training to ensure that any measures introduced to improve the quality of food waste are sustained. 

The guide has been produced as part of the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan, an industry-led plan to improve the capture, supply and quality of household and commercial food waste.