Estimated 931 mn tonnes of food wasted globally, India’s share 68 mn

United Nations, Mar 05 (PTI):
An estimated 931 million tonnes of food were wasted globally in 2019, enough to circle the Earth seven times, according to a UN report which said that household food waste in India is about 68.7 million tonnes a year.
The Food Waste Index Report 2021, from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partner organisation WRAP, said that around 931 million tonnes of food waste was generated in 2019, sixty-one per cent of which came from households, 26 per cent from food service and 13 per cent from retail.
This suggests that 17 per cent of total global food production may be wasted, it said. The weight roughly equals that of 23 million fully loaded 40-tonne trucks bumper-to-bumper, enough to circle the Earth seven times, the UN agency said.
In India, the household food waste estimate is 50 kg per capita per year, or 68,760,163 tonnes a year.
The household food waste estimate in the US is 59 kg per capita per year, or 19,359,951 tonnes a year, while for China these estimates are 64 kg per capita per year or 91,646,213 tonnes a year.
The report looks at food waste that occurs in retail outlets, restaurants and homes counting both food and inedible parts like bones and shells and presents the most comprehensive food waste data collection, analysis and modelling to date.
It finds that in nearly every country that has measured food waste, it was substantial, regardless of income level.
It shows that most of this waste comes from households, which discard 11 per cent of the total food available at the consumption stage of the supply chain.
Food services and retail outlets waste 5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
On a global per capita-level, 121 kgs of consumer level food is wasted each year, with 74 kgs of this happening in households, the UNEP said in a statement.
If we want to get serious about tackling climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, businesses, governments and citizens around the world have to do their part to reduce food waste, Executive Director of the UNEP Inger Andersen said.
The report said that food waste has substantial environmental, social and economic impacts. At a time when climate action is still lagging, 8-10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed, when losses before consumer level are taken into account.

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