Average Dutch still throwing away 33.4 kg food per year; Catering sector doing better
The average person in the Netherlands still throws away 33.4 kilograms of food per year, according to the Together Against Food Waste Foundation. Much of that waste is due to people not knowing how to store their food. The catering sector has managed to reduce its food waste by 9.2 percent compared to 2019, according to Rabobank.
Consumers are responsible for 30 to 35 percent of food waste in the Netherlands. That is bad for their wallets - throwing away uneaten food costs an average Dutch household about 400 euros per year. It is also bad for the climate. “Eight to ten percent of the greenhouse gases emitted worldwide are linked to food we do not eat,” Toine Timmermans of the Together Against Food Waste Foundation told RTL Nieuws.
Netherlands residents have already reduced their food waste considerably. A few years ago, food waste still averaged around 50 kilograms per person per year. But there is still a lot of ground to cover.
According to Timmermans, most people are aware that they shouldn’t waste food. It’s mainly a matter of doing it. “Bread is most often wasted. 92 percent of Dutch people want to waste less bread,” he said. “We also know what to do: eat sandwiches and make toasties from stale bread. But actually doing it, people need some more help with that.”
On Monday, the Nutrition Center is launching a campaign to better inform people how to best store their food. Part of that is a sticker for the refrigerator, showing which everyday products should go in there and which should be stored at room temperature. For example, tomatoes and cucumbers do better outside the fridge, while eggs should be kept cold.
The catering sector has made some strides in reducing food waste in recent years. This year, the sector threw away 5 million kilograms less food than in 2019, a decrease of 9.2 percent. However, that still means that 55.4 million kilograms of food disappears into the trash each year, NOS reports based on research by Rabobank. “Catering entrepreneurs are on the right track,” Jos Klerx of Rabobank said. “Hotels, in particular, are wasting less and less. Restaurants still have to do a little more to reduce waste.”
The Rabobank researchers attributed the recent decline in food waste to the high costs of recent years. Entrepreneurs found ways to prevent food waste in order to save money. According to the bank, the food that is still thrown away every year has a value of approximately 647 million euros.