We see from the data that food waste is a problem for all with larger scale impacts, but the good news is that this means there is something we can each do to help reduce these statistics and contribute. The need is there to act now because food waste has substantial environmental, economic and social impacts. Understanding some of these helps put the issue into context…
- Greenhouse Gases: It’s estimated that food that does not get consumed accounts for 8-10% of global greenhouse gases which have a direct impact on climate change.
- Nature: Less food waste would help slow the destruction of nature thanks to land conversation and pollution levels. It would also help reduce biodiversity loss.
- Waste Management: The additional burden of food waste on waste management and irrigation systems in all countries could be considerably reduced.
- Hunger and malnutrition: Reducing waste and diversifying the supply chain could help the 690 million people affected by hunger and 3 billion people unable to afford a healthy diet.
- Household expenses: A reduction of food expenses for households when buying only what they consume would be of personal benefit to millions, if not billions. This is of particular importance to many at times of recession.
So, we understand the scale of the issue and also begin to see what needs to be done to reverse the trend. The publication of this report supports The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 which is a global goal aiming to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030.
Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP comments that “With only 9 years to go, we will not achieve SDG 12 Target 3 if we do not significantly increase investment in tackling food waste in the home globally. This must be a priority for governments, international organisations, businesses and philanthropic foundations.”
Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP adds “If we want to get serious about tackling climate change […] businesses, governments and citizens around the world have to do their part to reduce food waste.”
SOURCE: Hamish Forbes, Tom Quested, Clementine O’Connor, UNEP