We are facing a major challenge to reduce food waste. All of the food that is grown, transported, processed and packed requires energy, raw materials and water. This has an impact on the environment as well as a financial impact. While there is hunger in the world, all households in the Netherlands waste 800 million kilos of food per annum. In financial terms we are talking about a figure of approximately €2.5 billion of food wasted.
The largest portion of the total food waste is caused by the consumer. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, together with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment has set out a goal to gain more insight into the extent of waste on a consumer level. The research has now been carried out for a second time by CREM and the results form the basis for “Feiten en cijfers over verspillen van voedsel door consumenten” (Facts and figures regarding food waste by consumers). These results have also been included in the Monitor Voedselverspilling (Food Waste Monitor).
In 2011 the Netherlands had a population of 16,655,799 people and the food waste per capita was between 89 and 210kg. This is calculated as food waste in the whole chain, converted to annual waste per person (capita). In 2011, avoidable secondary resources in food waste were between 1197 and 2149 kton. The potential avoidable waste is somewhere between 725 and 1333 kton. To reduce food waste by 20%, there needs to be between 276 and 511 kton less wastage per annum. This is 17-31 kg per capita.