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Finns create up to 160 million kilos of food waste annually

Food waste has a big impact on combating climate change, according to the IPCC Climate Change report released on Thursday.

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Globally, food waste is estimated to weigh in at 1.3 billion tonnes a year. Image: AOP

In Finnish homes an average of every tenth slice of bread, piece of fruit or vegetable ends up in the garbage bin, according to the consumer magazine Kuluttuja’s Hävikkiviikko website.

Often the reason is simple: a tomato dries out, a piece of bread goes stale, a pack of sausages reaches its expiration date, or too much food is made and then ends up being thrown out.

On an international scale, according to the report released on Thursday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) each of us throws out an average of 20 to 25 kilos of food a year on average. Food waste is no small matter, points out the report.

Globally, food waste is estimated to be at 1.3 billion tonnes a year.

Domestic figures

In Finland, six percent of food purchased for home consumption ends up as waste.

All told, Finnish households throw out 120 to 160 million kilos of food annually, which places a burden on both the production chain and the waste chain.

For Europeans and North Americans, the typical average is 95 to 115 kilos a year. In Asia and Africa that figure is 6 to 11 kilos.

The food chain accounts for more than a quarter of global warming greenhouse gas emissions, while one third of primary production ends up being wasted, the report concludes.

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