DIRECT – Dynamic Industry Resource - Efficiency Calculation Tool

Other resources

This section contains information about other resources than food, waste, energy, packaging and cleaning.

CFD Food

Other resource, image copyright: Y. Strengers


Identify your resources :
Food companies may be from different sectors but common resources are often involved in waste or food loss streams.
To avoid food loss, review the ingredients and materials used and produced, as well as other outputs generated.
Waste is under-utilised resources that may have been generated through inefficient production line design, inefficient storage, supply chain weaknesses, etc. Learning more about each material used in your company will help you to optimise the existing processes and perhaps find new processes to “do more with less”. Areas to consider are listed below:


  • Flat Card : includes boxes used for cereal, muesli bars, etc.
  • Corrugated Cardboard Packaging : as described, this material comes from any form of corrugated cardboard packaging
  • Non-packaging Cardboard:  this includes all other forms of cardboard, such as files and folders, cards, and tickets

Components smaller than 20 mm
Any type of waste that is difficult to identify and is in particularly small pieces can be classed under this waste type. These items are often difficult for a recycler to pick up in a sorting process.

  • Beverage Cartons:  some beverage cartons are made of several different materials, including plastics and cardboard, that are fused together. These require specialised treatment to separate the different components
  • Other Composite Packaging:  composite packaging includes blister packs, laminated films, etc.

bottle--glass--white-background--drink_3118326 Glass comes in several colours: 

  • Green Glass : beverage bottles and food jars
  • Clear Glass : beverage bottles and food jars
  • Brown Glass : beverage bottle and food jars
  • Other Colours : beverage bottles and food jars

Hazardous Industrial Waste
Hazardous industrial can be classified in sub-categories, some can be found in food manufacturing, such as:

  • Agriculture and Fisheries : waste generated from agriculture and fisheries practices can include plant and animal tissue waste, excrement, calcium carbonate, sludge and waste from, and of, preserving agents, solvent extraction, sugar beet soil, distilled spirits, treated chemicals and soils
  • Oil and Liquid Fuel Waste : oil and liquid fuel waste from industry can include many types of waste. Examples of these are: hydraulic oils (some with PCBs), chlorinated and non-chlorinated emulsions, engine, gear and lubricating oils and biodegradable oils, insulation and heat transmission oils, bilge oils, grit chambers and oil and water separator solids. Other waste examples are sludge, oil waste, oily water, fuel oil and diesel and petrol and emulsions
  • Organic Solvents, Refrigerants and Propellants : waste generated from these include chlorofluorocarbons, solvents and solvent mixtures and sludge
  • Filter Materials and Absorbents : this waste refers to any filter materials and absorbents that are contamination with dangerous substances
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants : the industrial processes of treating water and waste water can produce a number of different waste materials. These include: ferrous materials, filter cakes, aqueous liquid wastes, solids, spent activated carbon, bottom ash and slag. Other wastes can include fly ash, boiler dust, pyrolysis waste, sands, sludges, oil and concentrates from separation, combustible wastes, all hazardous wastes, vitrified and non-vitrified waste. As well as these, there can also be: non-composted fraction of waste, off specification compost, liquor and digestate from anaerobic treatment landfill leachate, screenings, desanding waste, ion exchanger solutions, heavy metals from membrane systems, saturated or spent ion exchange resins, iron and steel, non-ferrous materials, fluff-light fraction and dust, spent filter clays, acid tars, cleaning bases, flue-gas cleaning wastes, solid soils and aqueous concentrates

 Hazardous Municipal Waste

  • Solvents : solvents include materials such as ethylated spirits, glues and refrigerants
  • Detergents : materials such as bleach, anti-septic, chemical cleaners, etc. are included in this waste type
  • Pesticides : any type of material (liquid or solid) that destroys a form of pest is a pesticide. This includes household and garden chemicals such as snail pellets, lawn fertiliser, urea, etc.
  • Batteries and Accumulators:  this includes all batteries and accumulators, such as lead, NiCad, Nickel-Mercury, rechargeable, car batteries and other accumulators
  • Fluorescent Tubes and Bulbs :  l ight bulbs, fluorescent tube lights and energy saving light bulbs are all included in this material type
  • Aerosols:  deodorant cans, perfumes and hairsprays are all included in this material type
  • Waste Mineral Oil:  this material includes all non-consumable oils, such as hydraulic oil, heating oil, engine oil, lubrication, machine and engine oil


  • Aluminium Packaging : this material includes drinks cans, some food cans, food tins and foil trays. Aluminium will not stick to a magnet for separation purposes
  • Ferrous Metal Packaging : this material includes food cans, some drinks cans, lids from jars and biscuit containers. Ferrous metals such as steel will stick to a magnet for separation purposes
  • Other Metal Packaging : jar lids can be classed under this material

Organic Waste

  • Biodegradable Kitchen and Canteen Waste : this includes food products such as bread, fruit, meat, fish, cooked/ uncooked food, vegetable skins, teabags, and coffee grinds
  • Biodegradable Garden and Park Waste : this includes leaves, twigs, branches, grass, soil, flowers, trees and weeds
  • Liquid Fit For Human Consumption:  juices, milk and gravy are examples of this sub-category
  • Vegetable Oil : all waste cooking oil is included in this material, such as olive oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, fish oil, hemp oil and peanut oil


  • Paper Packaging : this includes paper bags, egg cartons and wrapping paper
  • Magazines/Glossy : includes all magazines, glossy advertising and catalogues
  • Office Paper : office paper includes print outs, letters and envelopes (minus the plastic window)
  • Tissue Paper/Kitchen Roll : this material includes all tissue paper and kitchen roll

Plastics (ranked by type)

  • Type 1 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) : this includes soft drinks and water bottles, and some ice-cream containers.
  • Type 2 High  Density Polyethylene  (HDPE) : this type of plastic packaging includes milk bottles and bottle caps.
  • Type 3  Polyvinyl Chloride ( PVC):  the third-most widely produced polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene.
  • Type 4   Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE):  this soft plastic is generally used for shopping bags, fertiliser and compost bags, sandwich bags, cereal packers (inside) and some biscuit wrappers
  • Type 5 Polypropylene (PP):  this type of plastic packaging includes bottle caps and food tubs
  • Type 6 Polystyrene ( PS):  this type of plastic is mainly used for convenience food packaging
  • Type 7 Other Plastic which can include:
  1. Styrofoam (EPS) Packaging:  this plastic is normally used for packaging around goods inside containers. It is also used as food containers
  2. Other Flexible Plastic Packaging : this includes most butter, margarine and yoghurt pots, crisp packets, sweet wrappers and toothpaste tubes
  3. Other Rigid Plastic Packaging:  rigid plastic packaging normally refers to harder ice-cream tubs, yoghurt pots, etc.
  4. Other Non-Packaging Plastics : this material refers to all other types of plastic, such as clothes hangers, basins, floor lino, gardening equipment, plastic shoes and hoses


  • Textile Packaging : examples of this are fruit and vegetable netting, potato sacks, etc.
  • Clothes : this material includes all forms of clothing, made from all forms of textile materials (white coat)


  • Wood Packaging : wood packaging includes bottle corks, cork packaging and some wood pallets
  • Non-Packaging Natural Wood:  waste bark, fencing, some DIY (do it yourself) wood products and non-treated wood sawdust, cuttings or shavings make up this material
  • Treated and/or Composite Wood : kitchen (or other storage) units, particle wood (such as MDF, chipboard and plywood) and treated wood shavings, cuttings and sawdust

For more information about waste management and recycling for each resource presented, go back to the Waste page.


Identify your resources