According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP) Food Waste Index Report, 17 percent of the food produced is wasted globally!
According to the report, which reveals that food waste is a global problem, not only in developed countries, approximately 931 million tons of food sold to households, retailers, restaurants and other food service points were wasted in 2019.
61 percent of the waste occurred at the household level, 26 percent in food services and 13 percent at the retail stage. At a global per capita level, 121 kilograms of consumer-level food are wasted each year, 74 kilograms of which happens in households.
While the amount of food wasted is roughly equal to the weight of 23 million fully loaded 40-ton trucks, these trucks reach a bumper-to-bumper long enough to turn Earth 7 times.
Environmental effects of food waste and losses…
Food waste has significant environmental, social and economic impacts. For example, at a time when climate action is still lagging, 8-10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with non-consumable food, taking into account losses before the consumer level.
Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, made the following assessment on the subject:
“Reducing food waste will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, slow the degradation of nature through land transformation and pollution, increase food availability and thus reduce hunger and save money in times of global recession.
Food waste is a global problem…
Commenting on the report, WRAP CEO Marcus Gover said, “For a long time, household food waste was assumed to be a major problem only in developed countries. With the Food Waste Index Report, we see that things are not that clear. While there are only 9 years to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, we will not be able to reach the goal of preventing hunger and waste, unless we significantly increase the investment in the fight against food waste at home globally. “It should be a priority for governments, international organizations, businesses and charitable foundations.”
This week, the WRAP kicked off the UK’s first national Food Waste Action Week (March 1-7), signaling that wasting food feed leads to climate change.