The 29th of September has been designated as the International Day of Awareness for Food Loss and Food Waste. To celebrate the day, we have compiled a list of a few important facts and figures about food waste in Ireland. When food is disposed of, it ends up in the landfill where it produces large quantities of methane gas – one of the more potent greenhouse gases, which is 25 times stronger than CO2. A high level of energy and water is consumed in the production of food. When food is thrown out and is not given another life, its carbon footprint grows. The following facts and figures give a clearer picture into the depth of food waste.
In Ireland, over one million tonnes of food is wasted annually. This represents a carbon footprint of as high as 3.6 Mt CO2eq (carbon equivalent). On a worldwide scale, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year.
80% of all food waste is generated by industry. This amounts to €2 billion in losses and costs for Irish businesses.
While the food industry accounts for approximately 30% of global energy consumption and 22% of total Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Food waste alone is responsible for 8% of the world’s global carbon emissions.
If world population continues to grow at the same pace, by 2050, three planets will be needed to provide natural resources.
A 12th of greenhouse gases is created by food that is never eaten.
Goal 12 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals aims for responsible consumption and production globally. The target is for all food waste to be halved per capita by 2030.
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The recent Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy further explains the importance of reducing our food waste. All businesses, including tourism and travel companies, are encouraged to sign the Food Waste Charter pledge to cut down on food waste so we can meet our 2030 goal. Many organisations, such as Food Cloud, are actively trying to combat the issue of food waste. Join them and learn more about how your business can cut down on waste by heading to stopfoodwaste.ie and signing up to our online courses.