Food waste and climate change
For such a widely discussed topic food waste is surprisingly low on the COP21 schedule this week in Paris. It’s not even a topic in itself – ‘food’ is mentioned under the agenda item of ‘Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry and Water Use’ but not ‘food waste’.
It’s surprising because food waste as an environmental issue is low-hanging fruit. It doesn’t require massively intensive capital investment to address – most of the quick wins can be achieved by introducing greater efficiencies at the production and distribution stage.
Some quick facts
- You the consumer have a big role to play: about ⅓ of wastage occurs at consumer level.
- ⅔ happens at the production and distribution level with food rotting on fields and being spoiled in transport.
- The equivalent of 86 million chickens of food waste are tipped in landfill each year – that’s about 21 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Get an insight with this slightly disgusting video of a decomposing chicken!
Why should you care?
- For families with children in the UK the cost is about £60 week through unnecessary waste.
- The bigger picture is around the overall health of the environment, water scarcity and food prices. Important concerns, especially if they affect you directly!
What can you do?
- If you’re a business you can find your closest food waste recycling partner – for free!
- You can use compostable packaging which is a carbon friendly alternative to plastics.
- If you’re feeling adventurous you can change your diet. How about burgers and cheese made from plants!
Get involved with the debate here #COP21