A United Nations Environment Programme research has disclosed that eight to 10 per cent of Global Greenhouse Gas emissions are associated with unconsumed food.
The report, which holds that 930 million tonnes of foods sold in 2019 landed in waste bins, is in support of global efforts to halve food wastage by 2030.
The UNEP conducted the research in collaboration with organisations such as Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Progress and the Food Waste Index Report 2021.
Greenhouse gas is said to have far-reaching environmental and health impacts, causing climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere and leading to global warming. It contributes in no small measure to respiratory diseases from smog and air pollution.
Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen, stated: “If we want to get serious about tackling climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, as well as pollution and waste, businesses, governments and citizens around the world, have to do their parts to reduce food wastage.”
Andersen noted that although food wastage had been thought of as a problem mostly affecting rich countries, but that the UNEP report found out that levels of waste were surprisingly similar in all nations, though that data was scarce in the poorest countries.
Going by the report, households were said to discard 11 per cent of food at the consumption stage of the supply chain, while food services and retail outlets waste five and two per cent, respectively. This, according to them, has led to adverse environmental, social and economic impact.
“Reducing food wastage would cut greenhouse gas emissions, slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution, enhance the availability of food and thus, reduce hunger as well as save money at a time of global recession.
“The UN Food Systems Summit this year, will provide an opportunity to launch bold new actions to tackle food wastage globally,” Andersen said.
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