BIBLIOTECA HORTICULTURA

BIBLIOTECA HORTICULTURA

Food waste ranges: 194 and 389 kg/p/y globally and 158 and 290 kg/p/y in EU

Food waste ranges: 194 and 389 kg/p/y globally and 158 and 290 kg/p/y in EU

Sara Corrado & Serenella Sala, Waste Management

Contributing to environmental pollution and resources depletion, food waste represents a considerable inefficiency of the global food system. Within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, countries committed to halve per-capita food waste generated at retail and consumer levels and to decrease food waste along the food supply chain by 2030. Reliable and detailed information on food waste is of utmost importance for the actors of the food supply chain, organizations and governments willing to implement and monitor effective reduction strategies.

The present paper is a review of existing studies on food waste generation at the global and European scales and aims primarily at describing and comparing the approaches adopted, and secondarily at analysing their potential in supporting food waste related European interventions and policies.

Ten studies were selected among relevant scientific papers and grey literature and their underlying quantification methodologies were systematically analysed.

Methodological elements discussed in the paper include
- type of waste streams captured by estimations,
- distinction between edible and inedible food waste along the agro-food supply chain,
- reported units of measure,
- overall inefficiencies of the food system, and
- uncertainty of data.

Current estimations of food loss and waste generation range between 194–389 kg per person per year at the global scale, and between 158–298 kg per person per year at the European scale. However, further efforts are needed to improve their level of detail and reliability and to foster their support to food loss and waste-related strategies.

Beside above mentioned, other highlights of the study include:
- Current studies are based on different methodological approaches and data sources
- A robust food waste accounting methodology is needed for food waste reduction
- Waste management and food security objectives lead to different accounting needs
- Distinction in edible and inedible is crucial for food waste prevention and food security.
 

Sources
Food waste accounting along global and European food supply chains: State of the art and outlook
Sara Corrado & Serenella Sala
Waste Management, Volume 79, September 2018, Pages 120-131
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2018.07.032

Picture by One Green Planet, 6 Ways to Cut Down Your Food Waste and Why It’s Important to do so