Rendering in the Circular Economy
Rendering is a process that has been carried out for centuries, but as we strive for a more circular economy, it’s clear this traditional practice has never been more important.
Rendering converts waste animal tissue into usable materials, and for hundreds of years was used primarily in soap and candle making. It’s perhaps difficult to see how this centuries-old practice relates to the modern idea of a circular economy.
But by recovering and processing animal by-products (ABPs), the traditional process of rendering is actually at the forefront of the circular economy - in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible. It means the carbon and resources it takes to rear animals are not wasted, and the nutrients and resources are kept within the feed chain.
We are committed to protecting the Environment and reflecting the goals of sustainable development.
How are ABPs Used?
Modern rendering turns poultry and meat production wastes into a wide variety of everyday products. Thanks to modern technologies, we can turn almost all ABPs into usable products and materials.
Some are used to produce animal fats which are used in pharmaceuticals, waxes and biodiesel, or high-quality protein-rich feeds for the pet-food and fish aquaculture industries.
Reducing Environmental Impact
These recycled animal fats play a significant role in reducing the demand for palm oil. Across the EU, 950, 000 tonnes of rendered fat are used in the animal feed industry each year and 575,000 tonnes in the chemical industry. That’s a lot of oil palm trees not needed and potential forest destruction prevented.
Meat, bone and blood from low-risk material can also be processed and turned into what’s called processed animal protein (PAP), used for feed ingredients. PAP is an environmentally-friendly alternative to imported soya meal: making PAP creates only 10% of the greenhouse gases of soya production. PAP is also used in feed for fish farms as a replacement for feed made from caught wild fish.
Another use for meat and bone by-products is as fertiliser. The material is burnt to remove pathogens, then the ash forms the basis of a nutrient-rich fertiliser which is free from mined or imported chemicals.
Preventing ABPs Going to Landfill
Remarkably, 99% of the material sent for rendering is put to good use.
Both low and high-risk materials can be used to produce biodiesel, which generates just 15% of the greenhouse gas emissions of fossil diesel. At JG Pears, we power our operations with truly renewable energy that we generate at our combined heat and power plant using Category 1 MBM.
The rendering industry is one of the world’s oldest recycling industries, taking what would otherwise be waste materials and makes useful products. At the same time, rendering solves what would otherwise be a major disposal problem. When food ends up in landfill it produces methane, a greenhouse gas more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
When you consider that in excess of 50 billion kilograms of inedible by-products are generated by the UK food industry annually - of which the rendering industry processes 30 billion – it becomes clear just how pertinent this traditional process is to today’s climate challenge.