“The goods an OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) citizen buys for consumption annually—800 kg of food and beverages, 120 kg of packaging, and 20 kg of new clothing and shoes—are, for the most part, not returned for any further economic use. In the current ‘take-make-dispose’ system, around 80 per cent of these materials will end up in incinerators, landfill or wastewater” (Circular Economy). Let’s focus on food for a moment…
Food waste is now considered a major global environmental hazard, costing $400 billion p/year with an estimated 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions (methane) being produced by us; individual citizens, giant food companies and the food industry in general (third behind China and the U.S. economies), who don’t realize the dramatic impacts of the food we throw away.
“About 60 million metric tons of food is wasted a year in the United States, with an estimated value of $162 billion. About 32 million metric tons of it end up in municipal landfills, at a cost of about $1.5 billion a year to local governments.” —NY Times
According to Sustainable Brands, as of yesterday the CGF (Consumer Goods Forum)—comprised of 400 hundred major consumer brands globally such as Proctor & Gamble, Campbells, Hershey, Mars et al—committed to a new resolution to reduce food waste in their operations by half, by 2025. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and Board Co-Sponsor of the CGF’s sustainability work states:
“It is a tragedy that up to two billion tons of food produced around the world is lost or wasted, never making it onto a plate. At a time of growing food insecurity and climate change, we can’t afford to let this continue. This resolution marks a step change in industry leadership and is an important contribution to the longer-term sustainable development agenda.”