Reverse logistics practices and environmental performance of food and beverage manufacturing firms in Uganda
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Reverse Logistics is an issue that has gained a lot of attention, in fact, in the last decade, given the confluence of various situations. Reverse logistics is becoming an important initiative today, this is due to a number of factors for example, of all the products sold, an average of eight to twelve percent is returned. Among the key players in reverse logistics are manufacturing firms that play an integral role in implementing reverse logistic practices. With this understanding, the objectives of the study were: to examine the relationship between reverse logistics practices (Product collection practices and industrial waste management practices) and environmental performance, and the moderation effect of government policy on the relationship between reverse logistics practices and environmental performance of food and beverages firms in the Central region. The study used a cross sectional survey design; the population of the study included all food and manufacturing firms in the Central region (N=700). The study considered the Central region of Uganda because this is where most of food and beverage manufacturing firms are concentrated and thus providing a population where a proportionate sample could be derived. The sample size of the study involved 248 respondents which was obtained basing on the statistical table of Krejcie and Morgan (1970) table for determining the sample size. The study used quantitative data that was collected through a self-administered questionnaire designed to obtain specific responses for quantitative analysis. The Pearson correlations revealed a weak but statistically significant relationship between product collection practices, industrial waste management practices and environmental performance. This was evidenced with (r=0.287, p<0.000, r=0.225, p<0.001) respectively. The results of the regression analysis revealed that there was a direct relationship between product collection practices and environmental performance of food and beverage manufacturing firms. From the results, collection by third party proved to be the strongest predictor of the variations in environmental performance by 40.5% level of explanation while industrial waste management practices (remanufacturing, reusing, recycling) was not statistically significant to explain the variations with p>0.650, 0.338 and 0.211 which is greater than 5% level of significance. The moderating effect of government policy was found to have a statistically significant influence on the relationship between product collection practices and environment performance which is evidenced by P<0.008 being less than 0.05 level of significance. However, the moderating effect of government policy did not have a statistically significant influence on the relationship between industrial waste management practices and environmental performance with P>0.476 being greater than 0.05 level of significance. Therefore, the study recommends that food and beverage manufacturing firms should include reverse logistics in their strategic planning and create clear policies for it especially product collection by third party if they are to achieve greater improvement in environmental performance in terms of reduced pollutants, reduced wastes and emissions in to the atmosphere. The limitation of the study was that some respondents were not willing to commit their time to respond to the questionnaires due to stringent procedure instituted in manufacturing firms to alleviate the spread of the corona virus, and fears of the respondents contracting Covid-19.