W.A.S.T.E. process

Guidance is available on using a problem-solving approach to reduce waste in the food and drink supply chain.


WRAP has developed the W.A.S.T.E. process to help businesses identify waste and reduce it within their operations and across supply chains. The W.A.S.T.E. process is based on a problem-solving discipline, which is rooted in continuous improvement and LEAN manufacturing strategies and builds on established techniques.

Using the word ‘waste’ as the anagram for the problem-solving discipline stages is designed to give focus on the work in hand i.e. preventing and reducing waste.

Problem-solving disciplines are team-based processes containing steps that are taken to find the problem(s) that are in the way to achieving a goal. In the context of waste prevention, the ‘problem’ is the waste generated at source either in a manufacturing, retail or hospitality environment, total end to end supply chain environment or across part of a supply chain and ‘the goal’ is waste prevention – to not generate the waste in the first place.

The steps within the W.A.S.T.E. process enable:

  • recognition of the waste;
  • definition of the waste;
  • understanding of root causes of the waste; 
  • development of solutions to the waste; and
  • development of a strategy to prevent and reduce waste, by implementation of a defined and feasible solution.

Click here to access the W.A.S.T.E. problem-solving discipline: guidance on reducing waste in the food and drink supply chain. 

Tip sheets

The W.A.S.T.E. process is to be used in conjunction with tip sheets. These are designed to assist you during the different stages of the process. Refer to the following tip sheets

Refer to our other resources on waste prevention activities