Homes, retail outlets and restaurants around the world wasted an estimated 931 million tonnes of food or 17 per cent available for consumption in 2019, the United Nations Environment Programme's Food Waste Index Report 2021 stated.
The report, released on March 4, revealed that homes are responsible for most of the food waste. While almost 61 per cent of food was wasted each year at the household level globally, the food services and retail outlets contributed to 26 per cent and 13 per cent of food wastage, respectively, the report said.
It also said that at the same time 690 million people were affected by hunger in 2019. This estimate is expected to rise sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as three billion people are unable to maintain a healthy diet.
Indians Wasted 69 Million Tonnes Of Food In 2019
Indian households waste nearly 50 kg of food per person per year on average. Overall, Indians wasted 69 million tonnes of food in 2019, the report noted.
Almost every country generates food waste at the consumer level irrespective of the income levels, the report notes. The household food waste estimate per person per year was 69 kg in the US, 64 kg in China, 65 kg in Bangladesh, 74 kg in Pakistan, 76 kg in Sri Lanka, 79 kg in Nepal, and 82 kilograms in Afghanistan, reported Times Now.
The report also stated that food waste has major environmental, social and economic impacts. 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.
Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andresen said, "Reducing food waste would cut greenhouse gas emissions, slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution, enhance the availability of food and thus reduce hunger and save money at a time of global recession."
He added that if we want to get serious about tackling climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, pollution and waste, businesses, governments and citizens around the world have to do their part to reduce food waste.