Waste Policy

Initiatives to reduce food waste


18 Nov 2013

Written by

Joan Marc Simon


Never before we have produced as much food as today and never before there has been as much hunger in the world. Our generation is determined to beat all the records… but it is up to us if they are going records of pride or records of shame.

Up to 145 million Europeans (one fourth of us) could be under poverty line by 2025 if the current economic trend is not reversed. At the same time one third of the food for human consumtion produced at global level is never eaten… where did it go wrong?

But it doesn’t need to be like this. Many actions are taking place around Europe to fight food waste.

The EU’s resource efficiency roadmap foresees a 50% reduction, which the European Parliament says should be achieved by 2025. At a state level few member states have set targets. So far, France is the only one to have pledged to halve food waste by 2025. Each year the average French person throws away 20kg of waste food, costing roughly €400 per household annually. This figure includes 7kg of food thrown away with the packaging unopened.

The Netherlands has set an interim target of 20% for 2015. In Sweden, a similar reduction has been suggested for 2020.

In 2014 the European Commission is expected to come up with waste reduction targets, also addressing food waste.

But the most innovative actions are taking place at local level, which is where the real change needs to happen.

Below you can find some examples of how in the UK “the Pig Idea” plans to follow the Zero Waste Hierarchy and gives priority to feeding animals before using it for compost , in Slovakia some activists practice dumspter-diving to salvage perfectly edible food, in Catalonia an initiative trains people into food waste reduction, in Italy the Last Minute Market saves plenty of food every year…

The PIG Idea

The RE(F)USE idea in Slovakia

Do you happen to know other initiatives of local change in the field of food waste? Please share!