United Nations report exposes Greece as Europe’s biggest food wasters

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Greeks are taught from a young age to finish every bit of food on their plates. However, a new report by the United Nations Environment Program has found that Greeks are the worst food wasters in Europe.

The Environmental Program released its first-ever Food Waste Index Report. Inside it details Greece’s thrown out food per capita per year, which totals 174 kilograms. This is over twice the global average of food wastage, which comes to 74 kilos.

In Europe, Greece ranked first in the biggest food wasters, followed by the Maltese with 129 kg and the Hungarians with 94 kg.

Photo: Getty Images

Overall, 1.48 million tons of food ends up on the trash heap in Greece every year, almost as much as in Romania, which has twice the population. Portugal, which has a similar population to Greece, throws out 860,000 tons of a food a year.

Food waste takes a heavy toll on the environment. Almost 10 percent of the global carbon emissions are associated with dumped or lost food in the food supply chain, an amount equivalent to the emissions of road transports.

“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,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the UNEP, said.

Andersen urged for more to be done at the state but also at the consumer level, encouraging households to “shop carefully, cook creatively and make wasting food anywhere socially unacceptable.”

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