World food waste is a “tragedy”, study finds
A new report suggests that half of all the food produced in the world is being thrown away every year and experts have called this a “tragedy”.
As much as two billion tonnes is wasted because of overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one-free offers and consumer fussiness, according to a report entitled ‘Global food waste not, want not’ by independent scientific body the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
It claims that half of food purchased in Europe and the US is thrown away as needless waste while elsewhere there are other problems like storage. The report also stated that the most affluent countries waste the largest quantities of food at the consumer end of the chain.
The report also claims that labelling many foods can encourage waste. Many consumers have a poor understanding of ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates, and these dates are generally quite conservative, as they are driven by the retailer’s desire to avoid legal action, according to the study (Daily Packaging News, 10 January 2013).