The EU’s plan to Cut Food Waste by 2030
Food waste is such a big problem, that if it were a country it would be the third largest contribute of carbon emissions. No In the past ten years, world leaders have taken notice and made larger commitments to cutting the amount of food wasted, particularly in developing countries. As we face problems within climate change, a rising vegetarian trend, and a exploding population, the problem is becoming more evident than ever.
The EU Commission issued a statement earlier in 2016 reporting an estimated 88 million tonnes of food waste thrown away within the European Union, or the equivalent cost of 143 billion euros per year. According to the FUSIONS Report, referenced on the official EU website, more than half of this food wasted is generated in households. But much of the waste still occurs in restaurants and food suppliers.
The Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals
Two agreements in the past decade have been made to help account for reducing global carbon emissions, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development goals. Now the European Parliament is putting more pressure on the handling issue, using these modules and The Commissions Circular Economy Package to outline the agenda and planning for a more sustainable Europe in the next decade.
Food waste prevention is an integral part of the Commission’s new Circular Economy Package to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable growth and generate new jobs.” –EU actions against food waste
Food waste is not only an ethical or economic issue, but also totals a environmental consequences that we inevitably have to pay for. Now world leaders are searching for ways to use food waste as a economic opportunity, and a clear method to reduce world hunger and a more sustainable lifestyle. To reduce food waste is to reduce the exploitation of the resources needed to cut food waste.
A Timeline for the Paris Agreement
According the Paris Agreement, the EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by of 1990 levels by 2030. To do this there will create a demand in increased renewable or sustainable energies. While there will be crackdowns on certain company policies to use unsustainable practices for production, the market will also open up to a realm of opportunities within the tech and environmental industries.
An economy based on renewable biological resources, known as the bioeconomy, could be the key to achieve this goal. Innovations from the bioeconomy, such as making biofuels from food waste, could help the EU to use cleaner renewable energy. This would propel the EU towards a more carbon-neutral, circular economy where waste is recycled and sold as new products. – Johnathon Smith
While the Paris agreement proposes ambitious goals to cut practices that are harmful to Europe, the Sustainable development goals was developed by the United Nations in order to create a better world for human dignity, helping the economy and maintaining a balanced environment. In November 2016 the European Union outlined points to their agenda for the 2030 goals to reduce Global Warming Emissions. These Sustainable Development goals are also on the European Commissions 10 priorities. The Second goal under the Sustainable goals is ”Zero Hunger”, and refers to proper redistribution of food items and business practice that reduces hunger, saves labor costs and creates a environmentally efficient use of food.
For SDG 2 ”End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has three objectives that remain very relevant and high on the agenda: viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action, and balanced territorial development. Similarly the reformed Common Fisheries Policy aims at contributing to sustainable food supply through sustainable fishing and aquaculture activities. Through the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived the EU supports Member States’ actions to provide sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food to the most deprived people. These policies are complemented by research and innovation actions on food and nutrition security such as FOOD 2030. – Next Steps for a Sustainable European Future
Sustainable Development Goals
The reduction of food waste itself actually plays a part within four of the sustainable development goals for Europe, Being Zero Hunger, Making cities safe, Climate Change and Sustainability for forests.
Of the 7.1m tonnes of food wasted in France annually, 67% is binned by consumers, 15% by restaurants and 11% by shops. Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food are wasted worldwide.
A report published in 2015 showed that UK households threw away 7m tonnes of food in 2012, enough to fill London’s Wembley stadium nine times over. Avoidable household food waste in the UK is associated with 17m tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. – The Guardian
In parallel, the Netherlands launched its own campaign against food waste in march this year, known as ”United against Food waste” also originated by the Circular Economy in Food. Within the campaign are companies, research institutes, governmental and NGO organizations. Several Million dollars euros will be provided by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to make sure the methods and research is accurate to cut the amount of food waste in Half by 2030.
The Future of the European Commission
The European Commission is looking forward to a growing relationship with NGO’s, industries as many countries will sign on board similarly with the agreements made and now are becoming more relevant than ever.
Through thePlatform on Food Losses and Food Waste, the Commission is analyzing in close cooperation with industry, consumer and other NGOs, research institutes and EU countries policy experts how to reduce food waste without compromising food safety, while also discussing options for possible EU action
A timeline of Europe’s relationship with waste
2001- EU Sustainable Development Strategy was launched
2009- revised Sustainable Development methods.
2015- Paris agreement was made.
2016- The European Commission plans to implement sustainable development strategies to target reduced emissions for 2030.
October 2018- An Overwhelming vote to ban single use plastics by 2020.
Want to know more about the big problem with food waste? Watch this Ted talk that helps break down the problem a bigger picture about how food waste effects us everyday.
So what is to be done with the big problem with food waste ?