Waste Management

(GRI 306-1; 306-2)

Guided by a Global Packaging and Recycling Policy, our operations around the world work to reduce, reuse or recycle the maximum amount of materials and send as little waste to landfills as possible. Opportunities for improved performance in our facilities are identified and addressed in several ways, both daily through site-specific actions and long-term through the development of new technologies for scaled implementation.


JBS environmental teams outline the appropriate procedures for collecting, transporting and disposing waste correctly in accordance with regional laws and regulations, and define best practices for reduction across our production processes. Materials that can be recycled are separated and sent to recycling companies, and where possible, we partner with composting companies to transform organic waste into compost that can be used as fertilizer in crop fields. Nonrecyclable, hazardous and harmful waste, in turn, is separated for suitable final disposal.

Global Waste Generated in Operations by Type and Disposal (MT)

(GRI 306-3; 306-4; 306-5)
2019 2020 2021 2022
32,707 1.5% 21,306 1.1% 14,839 0.7% 44,261 1.8%
2,144,269 98.5% 1,924,909 98.9% 2,004,798 99.3% 2,386,887 98.2%
Total Waste 2,176,976 - 1,946,217 - 2,019,636 - 2,431,148 -

Proper packaging is essential to keeping our food products safe until they reach the consumer’s table, but it should not come at the expense of our environment. That is why we are continuing to explore alternative materials that offer recyclability and technologies that allow us to reduce the amount of packaging needed, while still maintaining strict product safety requirements

One of the aims of our Research and Development (R&D) teams is to reduce and optimize the use of primary packaging (in direct contact with food), and secondary and tertiary packaging, thereby diminishing the amount of waste generated by customers and consumers.

Case Studies:

In Europe, our Pilgrim’s Moy Park, Pilgrim’s UK, and Pilgrim's Food Masters businesses continued to maintain their commitments to send zero waste to landfill across all facilities in 2022.
Pilgrim's Moy Park and Pilgrim's UK also began using 100% recyclable rigid packaging this year in line with their “Remove, Reduce, Recycle and Research” strategy. All other packaging will be widely recyclable by 2025.
In the United States, our Grand Island, Nebraska, beef facility partnered with local agriculture to establish a compost operation.
Paunch and other organic solids generated at the facility were previously hauled to landfill, but by collaborating with a farmer to establish a more local alternative, the waste is now returned to the circular economy. Symbiotic reductions were ultimately achieved by both parties, decreasing waste sent to landfill by the beef plant and decreasing synthetic fertilizer sourced by the farming community.
At JBS Ambiental, plastic waste generated at JBS operations is recycled into civil construction material.
Plastic scraps from the multilayer packaging (PVDC) used to package natural products are typically difficult to recycle. That’s why the Research & Development team at JBS Ambiental developed a process to transform the excess plastic into material for manufacturing interlocking floors suitable for external environments, such as patio paving.
In Europe, Pilgrim’s Moy Park was the first poultry company to undertake a commitment to reduce packaging and food waste in its supply chain. The initiative is part of an ambitious campaign to combat the use of plastics and packaging in its business and in the industry.
The company plans to lower its global use of packaging by 5% each year, while simultaneously raising the percentage of recyclable packages by 5%. Among actions planned, Moy Park will collaborate with researchers and supply chain partners to develop sustainable packaging for its entire product portfolio and will eliminate single use plastic from its office and restaurants.
In 2022, our JBS Australia Southern operations in Victoria transitioned to using recyclable mono PET and compatible top web packaging. This ultimately reduced their packaging use volume by nearly 7%.
Furthermore, while the previously used material was non-recyclable, the new solution uses a curb-side collectable bottom web and return-to-store top web.
Pilgrims Food Masters is a signatory of the UK Plastic Pact, which brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with U.K. governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste. Members agree to the following joint targets:
  • Target 1 - Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models;
  • Target 2 - 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable;
  • Target 3 - 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted;
  • Target 4 - 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging; and All targets to be achieved by 2025.
The business continued to make good progress against these targets in 2022, resulting in a reduction of more than 120 MT of plastic packaging while increasing recyclability. Examples of projects delivered include:
  • Across our Richmond fresh pork sausages, we reduced the thickness of the plastic layer and reduced the bag sizes, resulting in a reduction of 36.1 MT.
  • We moved our Richmond frozen sausages from a mixed laminate to mono laminate and reduced bag size, resulting in a reduction of 49 MT and increasing the recyclability of our packaging.
  • Across our chilled ready meals, we introduced a pulp tray for one of our customers, removing 205 MT of virgin plastic annually.
  • For another customer, we moved from 2 x virgin plastic PP trays to a single A-pet clam shell designed with recycled plastic, reducing 20 MT of plastic waste.
  • At our Carrickmacross site, we have removed another 17 MT of plastic by removing all plastic tape from site.
All Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) used in Huon Aquaculture-branded and Coles-branded product was transitioned to Sealed Air HydroLoq® trays in 2022. This is now a 100% recyclable tray which no longer requires a soaker pad.
Since then, Woolworths-branded MAP and Aldi-branded MAP have now also transitioned. In 2023, we will estimate to see a reduction of 6.8 million absorbent pads (single use plastic) sent to landfill, which is equivalent to 54.4 MT.
In 2022, our Primo Smallgoods business reduced an estimated 5.9 MT
of cardboard material by automating carton packing on one of its Wacol factory lines.
In Brazil, JBS Ambiental invests in technology to convert post-industrial plastic waste into small resins. These are then transformed into other plastic materials, such as garbage bags and cages for animal transportation, which are used within JBS' own operations.
To learn more about JBS Ambiental, please visit Circular Economy and Reverse Logistics