ISWA: New research results on food waste

June 1, 2019 / HKom/UR

Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management identifies almost seven million tonnes of food waste per year in households

New research results from the Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Waste Management (ISWA), an institute of the faculty, show that the volume of food waste in Germany remains high. The average volume of food waste in German households was in the region of almost seven million tonnes in both 2010 and 2015. German households produce the equivalent of around 85 kilograms of food waste per inhabitant per year, of which around 37 kilograms are theoretically avoidable. This has been calculated by researchers led by Dr.-Ing. Gerold Hafner of ISWA. The group determined the most current data along the entire food chain for Germany between 2015 and 2019 as part of the ReFoWas research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The total volume of food waste in Germany amounts to 12.7 million tonnes per year on average and is divided into the areas of agriculture (1.4 million tonnes), food processing (2.2 million tonnes), trade (0.5 million tonnes), out-of-home consumption (1.7 million tonnes) and households (6.96 million tonnes). The theoretically avoidable proportion of food waste in Germany is between six and eight million tonnes per year. The estimation of food waste in households is based on the evaluation of available waste statistics using specific coefficients for the proportion of food in the waste streams. The detailed study results are expected to be published in July 2019.

Dr. Hafner underlines the special actuality of the topic of avoidable food waste against the background of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and said: "In 2019, the University of Stuttgart will organise two workshops in Berlin in which national and international approaches to food waste avoidance will be discussed with actors from science and politics on the basis of the project results. Comparable studies from other EU countries will be presented both in the international workshop on 14 June 2019 at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and in the national workshop at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which is also planned for this year. No trends can be derived from the data currently available, which is why the topic of data accuracy will also be discussed in both workshops, said Hafner.

Press release with pictures as PDF file [DE]

Contact Dr.-Ing. Gerold Hafner, Head of Resource Management and Industrial Waste group, ISWA, Bandtäle 2, 70569 Stuttgart, gerold.hafner<ät>,
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