Rethinking Waste Management
How Much Waste Is Out There?
It's no secret that our waste management needs improvement. We produce so much food that we can’t -and actually don’t- consume, and this leads to waste, an astonishing amount of waste. Unfortunately, this problem not only applies to the UK, but it extends globally. This is an issue that needs addressing, and we need to think about it on a global scale, because throwing food away when people around the globe starve is just not normal.
Did you know that we throw out around 7 million tonnes of food from our homes per year? Seven million tonnes! The sad fact is that we could actually consume at least half of it. This also results in money spent in vain as all this waste costs around £470 per household and up to £700 for a family with children. The average UK household throws away almost a whole meal per day, which on average accounts for around a fifth of what they buy with the most common products thrown away being bread, cakes and other bakery products, fresh vegetables and fruits and milk. And this is all due to our inability to buy or prepare food that we could consume before it goes bad.
It’s not all just about throwing food away, generating waste is also directly affecting our environment. As mentioned earlier, we throw out around 7 million tonnes of food annually. Now just think about all the energy needed for producing packaging, distributing and selling, that is technically used for nothing since the food ends up rotting away in a landfill site. Think about all the people around the world that are in desperate need of this food. Now think about throwing food away again.
It Has Been And It Still Is A Long-Term Issue
Food waste has been an ongoing issue since 1915 and has received significant amount of media attention since then. Many different campaigns such as the “Love Food, Hate Waste” or the government funded WRAP have been launched in order to tackle this issue.
Overall, throwing food away is just bad for everyone, because money is basically being wasted and resources are thrown away. It’s not good for the people producing it as well, because obviously it all ends up in waste (even though they still get their money). In any case, it’s definitely not good for our planet as we are polluting it more and more.
Nowadays we consume so much resources that we might need a few more planets in order to meet the demand. We don’t have another planet at our disposal though, which means we will have to learn to use what we have in more efficient ways before it’s too late.
In fact we’ve managed to reduce food waste in particular with around 20% in the last few years. However, the amount of waste we generate is still stunning and needs to be decreased.
Furthermore, this is a problem that we created ourselves and therefore we must fix it together. The facts are striking and shameful. Hopefully they make you rethink your waste management. It’s time to stop wasting resources and start thinking about the planet and its future, your future, our future.