19 September 2016 – Food waste has become an increasingly hot topic in recent months and for good reason. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), about one-third of all food produced in the world for human consumption – approximately 1.3 billion metric tons – ends up as waste each year. In the European Union alone, it is estimated that around 88 million metric tons of food (or 173 kg per person) are thrown away annually, and the projection for 2020 – if nothing is done – is that the number will grow to roughly 120 million metric tons. The annual cost of this waste is estimated at 143 billion Euros ($160 billion), not to mention the significant costs to the environment and society.
In this month’s Dispatches from Europe column, Clarissa discusses the rising momentum for legislation on this issue, particularly in Europe.