UN report says 17 per cent of food wasted

A UN report estimates 17 per cent of the food produced globally each year is wasted.
A UN report estimates 17 per cent of the food produced globally each year is wasted.

About 17 per cent of all food for human consumption was thrown away in 2019, according to a UN report.

Homes, restaurants, stores and other food providers discarded 931 million tonnes of food, according to the report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Thursday.

The amount is the equivalent of around 23 million fully loaded trucks lined up seven times around the world.

Experts investigated data on food waste in 54 countries around the world, including still-edible food and inedible waste such as bones, pits and shells.

In almost all of these countries, vast quantities of food ended up in the bin, regardless of how rich or poor the country.

Private households made up the biggest proportion - 11 per cent of food was thrown away in them.

At restaurants and other food providers it was 5 per cent and for shops it was 2 per cent.

At the same time, in 2019 almost 700 million people did not have enough to eat, the report said.

UNEP chief Inger Andersen said that a reduction in food waste would reduce greenhouse gases and slow the destruction of nature through changes in land use while also cutting pollution.

It would also mean more food is available, therefore reducing world hunger and saving money, she said.

Andersen called on governments, businesses and people around the world to do their part to reduce waste.

Australian Associated Press