Quantifying household waste of fresh fruit and vegetables in the EU.
Sommaire de l'article
According to national studies conducted in EU countries, fresh fruit and vegetables contribute to almost 50% of the food waste generated by households. This study presents an estimation of this waste flow, differentiating between unavoidable and avoidable waste. The calculation of these two flows serves different purposes. The first (21.1 kg per person per year) provides a measure of the amount of household waste intrinsically linked to the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, and which would still be generated even in a zero-avoidable waste future scenario. The second (14.2 kg per person per year) is a quantity that could be reduced/minimised by applying targeted prevention strategies. The unavoidable waste was assessed at product level, by considering the inedible fraction and the purchased amounts of the fifty-one most consumed fruits and vegetables in Europe. The avoidable waste was estimated at commodity group level, based on the results of national studies conducted in six EU member states. Significant differences in the amounts of avoidable and unavoidable waste generated were found across countries, due to different levels of wasteful behaviours (linked to cultural and economic factors) and different consumption patterns (influencing the amount of unavoidable waste generated). The results of this study have implications for policies both on the prevention and the management of household food waste.