Food waste, third carbon emitter in the world, if it was a country


FareShare has achieved a study who claims that food waste would be the third biggest emitter of carbon in the world, if it were a country.

The association claims that the issue of food waste was ultimately overlooked throughout the discussions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) last week, despite food waste which accounts for between 6 and 7% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nationally, two million tonnes of food is wasted from farm to factory, FareShare estimates.

This solution is supported by the publication of the report, designed in collaboration with the Carbon Trust. He demonstrates that for every ton of food that is reallocated to others, rather than just wasted, about 1.6 tons of incorporated carbon dioxide can be saved. This “hidden” carbon comes from “the energy used in everything from growing and harvesting to packaging and transportation,” according to the report, which also quantifies the emissions defined in the life cycle of foods that FareShare redistributes.

The study indicates that of the 6,699 tonnes of food waste diverted by FareShare in total, a carbon saving of 10,698 tCO2e has been achieved. Of this figure, dairy products and vegetables accounted for 51.2% of the overall footprint, with ready meals, fruit and meat the only other categories accounting for more than 5% of the final amount, respectively.

It was also revealed by the study that for every ton of food redistributed, a loss of 1,525,000 liters of water – used throughout production – will be avoided. In terms of the amount of water saved by FareShare, the total footprint generated by redirected food waste was 10,216,904 m3 of encrusted liquid. The most important category in this case was uncategorized food, as 40 percent of the stock was not classified in this section – its proportion of the water footprint was 40 percent.

James Persad, Head of Marketing and Engagement at FareShare, commented: “These figures from Carbon Trust show, from a carbon and water savings perspective, that the best destination for edible food will always be the people’s plate.

He continued, “Even if you take all the other big emitters out of the picture, food production alone would push the earth past 1.5 degrees warming – but food waste has effectively been excluded from the talks. the COP26.

“Food is extraordinarily resource-intensive to produce – which is why it is heartbreaking to see so much wasted – with all the energy and water used to create it wasted as well. These figures from the Carbon Trust show, from a carbon and water saving perspective, that the best destination for edible food will always be people’s plates.

“Right now, an estimated 2 million tonnes of perfectly good-to-eat food is wasted on UK farms – and, although it is still cheaper for farmers to send this food to the DA , animal feed or landfill and charities, that will continue to be the case.

“Significant action on food waste will be crucial if we are to reach net zero. We ask the government to take this problem seriously and commit to fair funding to allow food companies to do the right thing, morally and environmentally, with their surplus food.


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