Tackling food wasteEthical Food & Drink News & Features
Reducing consumer food waste by 20-25% could save between $120 and 300 billion per year by 2030, according to a new report by WRAP and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
A third of all food produced in the world ends up as waste; globally, the value of consumer food waste is over $400 billion per year.
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People and planet
As the global middle class expands over the course of the decade, the cost could rise to $600 billion, according to the Strategies to achieve economic and environmental gains by reducing food waste report.
‘Consumers also have a role to play. In the United Kingdom, where we are based, the majority of food waste occurs in the home. Through our consumer campaign Love Food Hate Waste we empower consumers with advice and tips on how to waste less and save more. Between 2007 and 2012, this helped householders reduce avoidable food waste by 21%, saving a total of £13 billion.’
Dr Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP
Tackling climate change
The report identifies opportunities to boost economic performance and tackle climate change by reducing the amount of food that is wasted in agriculture, transport, storage and consumption.
Reducing food waste can also make a significant contribution to tackling climate change. An astonishing 7% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), or 3.3 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) per year, are caused by food waste.
WRAP estimates that by 2030 global GHGs could be lowered by at least 0.2 and possibly as much as 1 billion tonnes CO2eq per year through food waste reductions – more than the annual emissions of Germany.
Feeding a growing population
When food waste is decreased, this makes it more likely that an increasing population can potentially be fed from the same amount of land.
‘Reducing food waste is good for the economy and good for the climate. Less food waste means greater efficiency, more productivity, and direct savings for consumers. It also means more food available to feed the estimated 805 million that go to bed hungry each day. Reducing food waste is also a great way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. These findings should serve as a wakeup call to policymakers around the world.’
Helen Mountford, Global Programme Director for the New Climate Economy
The report highlights how practical changes, such as lowering the average temperatures of refrigerators or designing better packaging, can make a considerable difference in preventing spoilage. Approximately 25% of food waste in the developing world could be eliminated with better refrigeration equipment.
WRAP’s findings contributed to Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report. This report, from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, demonstrates how countries can achieve economic growth while dealing with the risks posed by climate change.
WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. Find out more at wrap.org.uk.