Netherlands throws away 5 million kilos of food every day: report

Food waste is still a massive problem in the Netherlands. About a third of the total produced food ends up in the trash can. Consumers are the biggest culprit, accounting for 42 percent of the waste. Each consumer throws away 41 kilograms of food per year. Bread is the most wasted product in the Netherlands. Every day 800 thousand loaves find their way into the trash, Nieuwsuur reports.

According to food waste expert Toine Timmermans of Wageningen University, the entire food chain in the Netherlands - consumers, supermarkets, restaurants, and other institutions - throws away around 5 million kilograms of food every day. "Just think how much that is per year! That is a row of trucks to Spain and back again. All good products that were meant to be eaten", he said to the news program. The Netherlands aims to reduce food waste by half by 2030. That will be a difficult task, as the decrease was minimal in recent years, Timmermans said. 

There are already hundreds of initiatives against food waste in the Netherlands. One such is app Too Good To Go. With the app hotels, bakeries, restaurants and supermarkets can offer their unsold products and meals for sale. The app shows users where they can pick up an inexpensive package of ingredients in their neighborhood. The content of the package is unknown, so it is referred to as a 'magic box'. Initiator  Joost Rietveld sees this as a first step in the prevention of food waste. "It's important to create awareness at both the consumer and the supermarket. It is not the solution yet, but it is a start. We've already saved 250,000 meals in the first year."

Cattle feed producer ForFarmers focuses on residual flows from the industry. The company has around 90 factories where 200 trucks come to deliver waste items like whey, grain, potato peels, starch, corn, soy, bread and chocolate every day. "In the Netherlands alone, there are millions of tons of waste streams per year. These would otherwise be thrown away", ForFarmers director Stijn Steendijk said to Nieuwsuur. "We make food from them, for example for pigs. And so these residual streams eventually end up in human food. We call that recycled agriculture."

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