Estimated 931 mn tonnes of meals wasted globally in 2019; India’s share 68 mn: UN report


An estimated 931 million tonnes of meals have been wasted globally in 2019, sufficient to circle the Earth seven occasions, in keeping with a UN report which mentioned that family food waste in India is about 68.7 million tonnes a yr.

The Meals Waste Index Report 2021, from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and companion organisation WRAP, mentioned that round 931 million tonnes of meals waste was generated in 2019, sixty-one per cent of which got here from households, 26 per cent from meals service and 13 per cent from retail.

“This means that 17 per cent of complete world meals manufacturing could also be wasted,” it mentioned.

“The burden roughly equals that of 23 million absolutely loaded 40-tonne vans — bumper-to-bumper, sufficient to circle the Earth seven occasions,” the UN company mentioned.

In India, the family meals waste estimate is 50 kg per capita per yr, or 68,760,163 tonnes a yr.

The family meals waste estimate within the US is 59 kg per capita per yr, or 19,359,951 tonnes a yr, whereas for China these estimates are 64 kg per capita per yr or 91,646,213 tonnes a yr.

The report seems at meals waste that happens in stores, eating places and houses – counting each meals and inedible elements like bones and shells and presents essentially the most complete meals waste information assortment, evaluation and modelling up to now.

It finds that in practically each nation that has measured meals waste, it was substantial, no matter revenue degree.

It reveals that almost all of this waste comes from households, which discard 11 per cent of the whole meals accessible on the consumption stage of the availability chain.

Meals providers and stores waste 5 per cent and a pair of per cent respectively.

On a world per capita-level, 121 kgs of client degree meals is wasted every year, with 74 kgs of this taking place in households, the UNEP mentioned in an announcement.

“If we wish to get critical about tackling local weather change, nature and biodiversity loss, and air pollution and waste, companies, governments and residents all over the world need to do their half to cut back meals waste,” Govt Director of the UNEP Inger Andersen mentioned.

The report mentioned that meals waste has substantial environmental, social and financial impacts. At a time when local weather motion remains to be lagging, 8-10 per cent of worldwide greenhouse fuel emissions are related to meals that isn’t consumed, when losses earlier than client degree are taken under consideration.

“Lowering meals waste would lower greenhouse fuel emissions, gradual the destruction of nature via land conversion and air pollution, improve the supply of meals and thus cut back starvation and lower your expenses at a time of worldwide recession,” Andersen mentioned.

The report famous that with 690 million folks affected by starvation in 2019, an estimate that’s anticipated to rise sharply because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and three billion folks unable to afford a nutritious diet, shoppers need assistance to cut back meals waste at residence.

It mentioned international locations can elevate local weather ambition by together with meals waste in Nationally Decided Contributions to the Paris Agreement, whereas strengthening meals safety and slicing prices to households.

This makes meals waste prevention additionally a main space for inclusion in COVID-19 restoration methods.

“For a very long time, it was assumed that meals waste within the residence was a major drawback solely in developed international locations,” mentioned Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP.

“With the publication of the Meals Waste Index report, we see that issues should not so clear lower. With solely 9 years to go, we won’t obtain SDG 12 Goal three if we don’t considerably enhance funding in tackling meals waste within the residence globally. This should be a precedence for governments, worldwide organisations, companies and philanthropic foundations,” Gover mentioned.

Sustainable Growth Aim (SDG) goal 12.three goals at halving per-capita world meals waste on the retail and client ranges and decreasing meals losses alongside manufacturing and provide chains. One of many two indicators for the goal is the Meals Waste Index.

Andersen mentioned that there’s rising proof of success in decreasing meals waste – although not on the scale wanted to attain the goal.

“Far more could be executed. We want, for instance, to deal with the function of client behaviour, in all cultural contexts, in reaching the goal. Allow us to all store fastidiously, cook dinner creatively and make losing meals anyplace socially unacceptable whereas we try to offer wholesome, sustainable diets to all,” Andersen added.

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