Some 88 million tonnes of food are wasted in the EU every year, equivalent to 173 kilos per person. This infographic shows which sectors and countries waste the most food in the EU. Not only is this a waste of resources, it also contributes to climate change. There is also the ethical aspect, given that about 793 million people in the world are malnourished and 55 million people (9.6% of the EU’s population) were unable to afford a quality meal every second day in 2014.
Food is lost and wasted along the whole supply chain from farms to processing and manufacturing to shops, restaurants and at home. However, most of the food in the EU is wasted by households (53%) and processing (19%). Consumers are often unaware of the issue or its effects. According to a Eurobarometer survey, date markings on food products are widely misunderstood, even though nearly six out 10 Europeans say they always check “best before” and “use by” labels.
On 16 May, MEPs advocated efforts to halve by 2030 food waste in the EU, by lifting existing restrictions on food donations and eliminating confusion about “best before” and “use by” labels.