European Food Waste Averaging 131 Kilograms Per Person Annually: Eurostat

Food Waste in America in 2023: Statistics & Facts | RTS

The European Statistical Agency, Eurostat, has released alarming figures regarding food waste in Europe. On average, every European discards a staggering 131 kilograms of food annually, a concerning statistic that has garnered attention on a global scale.

More than half of this excessive food waste, approximately 70 kilograms, is generated within households, emphasizing the urgency to address wasteful habits. The remaining portion of food waste originates from cafes, supermarkets, and factories across the continent.
Belgium leads the unfortunate list of countries that discard the most food, with each person responsible for an astonishing 262 kilograms of waste annually. Denmark and Portugal are also prominent contributors, throwing away 230 kilograms and 181 kilograms per person, respectively. In stark contrast, Slovenia, Croatia, and Sweden have shown commendable restraint by generating only 68 kilograms, 71 kilograms, and 86 kilograms of food waste per person, respectively.

It’s important to note that the Eurostat ranking did not consider data from the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, and Romania. In a parallel scenario, Russia, while not part of the European Union, is grappling with its food waste problem, with the average Russian disposing of 80 kilograms of food annually.

To combat this critical issue, the European Union is considering legal measures aimed at compelling member states to significantly reduce food waste by 2030. This potential legislation would require countries to reduce waste in stores, restaurants, and households by a substantial 30% when compared to 2020 levels.

Some European countries are already taking proactive steps to curb food waste. In Finland, a dedicated application enables consumers to purchase leftover food from restaurants, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. Meanwhile, Spain has mandated that restaurants inform patrons about the option to take leftover food home.

In a significant move, starting in 2024, Brussels-based supermarkets will be obligated to donate unsold food products to charitable organizations, helping alleviate hunger while diminishing food waste’s environmental impact. These initiatives represent the growing global awareness of the need to address food waste comprehensively and promote responsible consumption.