Mountain of food waste a global issue

The United Nations is calling for stronger action to end the culture of throwing out food uneaten to help address climate change, nature loss and pollution.

The call comes as the world marks the second International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste.

The UN says half-eaten food tossed in the bin is contributing to a mountain of food waste globally.

In 2019, 931 million tonnes of food sold to households, retailers, restaurants, and other food services around the world was wasted, according to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Food Waste Index.

An estimated 17 per cent of food available to consumers in markets, households and restaurants goes directly into the bin and 60 per cent of that waste is in the home.

The data shows that consumer food waste is a global problem, significant in almost every country that has measured it.

“This amounts to a loss of $400 billion a year in food value,” said Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Qu called for global co-operation to transform the food system to help reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of halving per capita global food waste by 2030.

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