We have long known how bad the effects of food waste can impact our planet. But are we really aware of the extent of the waste we produce? Use of UNEP data Food Waste Index report, Bosch conducted a study highlighting the 99 largest global exporters responsible for generating the most food waste.
On average, an incredible third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year. This represents 1.3 billion tons!
But it’s not just the environmental impact we need to think about, there are wider ethical and financial implications that concern us. And fortunately, nowadays, people across the planet are becoming more aware of shopping choices, avoiding unnecessary purchases and thus aggravating the problem of food waste. There are also many charities and large organizations developing innovative ideas to change our relationship with food; leader with new technologies and changes in legislation to reduce the environmental impact of food waste.
Looking at the figures of the last UNEP Food Waste Index Report, we can learn a bit more about where food waste is most serious. The index report focuses on the 99 largest exporters that are typically responsible for generating the most food waste.
China tops the list, producing 179 million tonnes a year. In second place is India with 128 million tons and in third place the United States with 45 million tons. The UK ranks 21st with around 6.5 million tonnes of food waste produced each year. At the end of the index are Slovenia and Trinidad and Tobago; being the most resourceful, they waste only 126,758 and 156,662 tons of food each year.
Food waste from households, restaurants and retail
Naturally, we need to look at our own practices at home and how we as individual families can begin to reduce the amount of food we waste. Statistically, the largest amount of household food waste per capita comes from Greece, producing 1,483,996 tonnes per year. This equates to 141 kg per capita.
And when it comes to the restaurant and retail industries, Malaysia is the top contributor with 89.56kg and 141.69kg per capita respectively.
At the other end of the scale, Russia has proven to be the most resourceful in terms of household statistics, creating only 33 kg of waste per capita. While in the catering industry, Bangladesh produces the least waste, with only 3.34 kg per capita. New Zealand is the country that wastes the least in the retail trade, with just over 3 kg of waste per capita.
So what are you? We’d love to hear your food waste stories and some of the ideas you have to ensure the amount thrown away within your household is kept to a minimum.