80% of food waste in Europe could be avoided says new study


A study undertaken by the Joint Research Council (JRC) of the European Commission has found that 80% of food waste in Europe could be avoided.

And the study also found that the UK is the worst culprit for food waste out of the six countries studied.


The research, published in Environmental Research Letters, found that the UK wasted the equivalent of one can of beans per person per day, compared to the best performer Romania that only waste an amount similar to one apple per person per day.

Other countries involved in the study included the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Germany.

The total EU consumer food waste averaged 123kg per year, but out of this a total of 97kg per capita per year was edible. The non-avoidable food waste included meat bones, egg shells, fruit stones or fruit and vegetable peel.

JRC researcher Davy Vanham said: “Theoretically, zero avoidable food waste is a possibility for EU consumers.

“This would not only save a lot of money for the consumers themselves, but also for local authorities, which have to pay for food-waste collection and treatment.

“In addition, this would not only save a large volume of water and avoid losses of reactive nitrogen, but it would also preserve other natural resources such as phosphorus, land and energy.”