AI to reduce food waste by checking carton damage

Japanese beverage makers and retailers are looking to AI technology to help reduce food loss and waste. Under the new system, AI would check damaged cardboard boxes to determine if they need to be returned to manufacturers.

This has long been a logistics concern as entire cartons of plastic bottles are often returned when the outer boxes are damaged, even if the products inside are unspoiled.

Seven major firms are drawing up uniform criteria. They are using AI to analyze photos of boxes to determine the extent of any damage. Warehouse workers have been visually examining boxes to determine whether they should be returned.

To help lessen the burden on logistics workers, as well as reduce food loss, the companies are hoping the new AI system can solve the problem.
Suntory Holdings official Uemae Hideyuki says, "We hope to share with both distributors and consumers alike, the understanding that even if the outer cardboard boxes are partially damaged, the contents inside may be unspoiled."

The firms will continue the trials through September next year, before agreeing to use the new uniform standards.