2024: Food Waste
What does food waste mean? 

Food waste indicates all the food (including drink) and associated inedible parts removed from the human food supply chain in the following sectors: manufacturing of food products, food/grocery retail, food service, and households.  

The problem  

Every year, the EU states produce over 58 million tonnes of food waste, which corresponds to 131 kg per inhabitant. This data is even more dramatic if we consider that over 37 million people can’t afford a quality meal every second day. 

At global level, one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. Looking at the UNEP data, in 2019 around 931 million tonnes of food waste have been produced, counting as 17% of the total global food production. But at which moment is this food becoming waste? The big majority of the food waste is produced in the households (more than a half of the food waste produced), in food service (restaurants, catering) and in retail (supermarkets, shops). 

Behind this amount of food waste, both economic and environmental impacts are hidden. Data estimates that for the food waste produced yearly in Europe, there’s an associated market value of 132 billion euros. Furthermore, food waste has consequences in terms of Greenhouse Gas Emissions related, for instance, to the use of cropland, freshwater resources, and fertilizers for food production.  

EWWR for Food Waste Reduction 

The EWWR decided to join forces to change the way we produce, consume and distribute food in Europe. Through actions and inspiring initiatives, coordinators and the whole EWWR community are committed to guide local and public authorities, private companies, associations, schools and citizens to rethink their relationship with food and to increase their awareness on the environmental, economic and social impact of food waste. 

On the thematic focus page, you will find inspirations on: 

1.Circular solutions to prevent food waste: 

2. Ideas of workshops to promote food waste reduction: 

  • Factsheets published by Brussels Environment on sorting and reducing food waste. Available in French and Dutch.
  • Guideline on prevention of food waste in the catering sector by the German Environment Agency. Available in English and German.

  • Tips on how to avoid food waste in everyday life by the German Environment Agency.

  • EWWR Factsheet from 2014 on “Cooking with leftovers”. Available in NL, IT, HU, FR, ES, EN and CAT.

3. Suggestions of apps that can help you to fight food waste: 

  • Més K Bo: Search for offers of products with an upcoming expiration date, using geolocation. Available in Andorra.
  • Olio: App that allows you to share things you don’t need, including food, with people nearby. Available in several countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and many European countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, and Portugal.
  • Too good to go: Through this app, you can get Surprise Packs offered by local establishments and restaurants in your area, helping combat food waste. Available in 17 countries across Europe and North America
  • Phenix: In this app, you’ll find businesses committed to fighting waste selling their surplus at a reduced price. Available in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal.
  • Encantado de comerte: The unsold food will be available to you at reduced prices through the app. Available in Spain.
  • Food Loop app: the app allows to keep track of its own food waste and to visualise the cause in order to understand how to avoid it next time. Targeting both consumers and HORECA. For more information, watch this video.
  • Cook App: it suggests recipes using the leftovers of the fridge. 

4. Material for schools: 

5. Good practices for a Sustainable Food System: 

6. E-learning course:  

7. Book:  

  • Second Life for Bread. Delicious ways to cut bread waste at home. Book published by the FOODRUS project. Over one-third of all bread produced globally goes to waste. The book gives tips and recipes for using old bread. The book is available in English, Slovak and Hungarian

You can download below the thematic poster on Food Waste. Use it to inspire others to take action for the EWWR! Coming soon in other EWWR languages.