Netherlands ranks fifth-worst in EU for food waste per resident
The Netherlands ranked fifth for European Union countries with the most food waste. Individuals living in the country wasted an average of approximately 161 kilograms of food in 2020. Just over a third of food waste in the Netherlands is produced by households, while the rest occurs along the supply chain or at other destinations, like restaurants and grocery stores, according to data from Eurostat.
Aside from household waste, the measurements also include losses in agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, retail, distribution, hospitality and food suppliers. Households in Europe were responsible for 55 percent of the food waste per inhabitant, or 70 out of an average of 127 kilograms per resident in the EU.
“Tackling consumer food waste remains a challenge both in the EU and globally,” the European statistics office said. It noted that household waste is generally double the amount produced by sectors which have strategies for reducing the problem, “for instance with the use of discarded parts as by-products.”
The Netherlands was actually seventh-best for household food waste, measured at 59 kilograms per person. The worst performing households were located in Portugal (124 kg), Italy (107 kg), Luxembourg (91 kg), Greece (87 kg), and Lithuania (86 kg).
However, the Netherlands as a whole did a poor job when looking at manufacturing, where it ranked third-worst, and it landed in the seventh worst spot for agriculture and fishing. That was enough to raise the overall food waste in 2020 to 161 kilograms per person.
The EU average that year was 127 kilograms. Cyprus ranked the worst in Europe with 397 kilograms, mainly because of losses that occurred along the supply chain in manufacturing, agriculture and fishing, as well as retail. The country ranked at the bottom in each of those categories, and was second-worst next to Ireland for food waste in restaurants.