Reducing food waste has multi-facet benefits in land, water and biodiversity
UNEP: We wasted nearly one billion tonnes of food in 2019
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published The Food Waste Index Report 2021 earlier this year. The report estimates that around 931 million tonnes of food was wasted in 2019. Households, food services and retail contributed 61%, 26% and 13% of that figure. This accounted for 17% of global food production. To the contrary of previous estimations, per capita food waste in households is broadly similar for different country income groups. Additionally, consumer food waste (households and food services) was found to have been underestimated and is more than twice of previous estimations.
Reducing food waste has multi-facet benefits. It is closely related to the sustainability of land, water and biodiversity. 38% of earth land surface is used for agriculture. Globally, more than 70% of water withdrawal is for agricultural production. Reducing food waste therefore contributes directly to saving agricultural water consumption. Additionally, agricultural diffuse pollution is one of the major sources of global water pollution.