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Food waste. Poles waste 5 million tons of food annually

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During the year in Poland, almost five million tons of food are disposed of in the garbage cans – according to the first research of this type carried out in Poland as part of the three-year PROM project, which is just about to end. Mostly households are responsible for wasting food. Only four out of ten adult Poles have the habit of checking the contents of the refrigerator before shopping.

The research has shown that the total estimated amount of losses is almost 5 million tons of food per year. “In fact, we were glad that it is not 9 million tonnes, as such data has been provided so far. It should be noted, however, that until the implementation of the PROM project, such comprehensive research on the scale of food waste had not been carried out in Poland “- emphasized prof. Kolożyn-Krajewska.


She added that it was the first research initiative of this type in our country. She also made a reservation that the obtained estimates may be erroneous due to difficulties in obtaining data, especially from certain sectors, and too small a research sample.

Households waste the most food

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Research clearly indicates the largest, 60% share of households in wasting food, while food production and processing account for a total of 30%. Less than 1% is wasted during transport and storage. Trade is responsible for losses of around 7%. and gastronomy slightly above 1 percent.

“We were very upset that consumers are responsible for over 60% of the total. wasted food. 37.2 percent of people admitted throwing food away with varying frequency. Poles, and ready-made unused meals – as much as 70.3 percent. ” – said Kołożyn-Krajewska.

Food in a garbage containerShutterstock

Why are we throwing away food?

The most frequently indicated reason for discarding food by consumers is spoilage (65.2% of indications). Other reasons for wasting food are: overlooking the expiry date (42% of indications), preparing too much food (26.5% of indications), or too much shopping (22.2% of indications).

The reasons for throwing away food indicate that one of the key factors contributing to throwing it away is inadequate preparation for shopping and the shopping itself.

Only four out of ten adult Poles have the habit of checking the contents of the refrigerator (41.9%) or preparing a list of necessary products (39%) before shopping. Therefore, a large group of consumers admit to regularly (always or usually answers) buying products that were not planned before (18.9%) and making purchases “in stock” (16.7%).

Food waste in the world

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted in the world every year, which is 1/3 of the food produced.

According to estimates, 88 million tons of food are wasted annually in the European Union, with an average of 173 kg per capita. This amount is equivalent to 20 percent. all food production in the European Union. Losses amount to EUR 143 billion a year. Households are responsible for almost 47 million tonnes of food thrown away, worth around EUR 98 billion a year.

UN member states, in line with the goal adopted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, have committed, inter alia, to to action that will reduce by 50 percent. food waste by 2030. (PAP) “The last month-on-month increase was mainly due to the sustained increase in world prices of vegetable oils and cereals” – it was written. In October 2020, the index was at 101.4 points.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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