Food waste is becoming a global issue since about one third of all the food produced worldwide for human consumption is wasted every year along the food supply chain while a large number of people (822 million) still do not have enough food for an active and a healthy life. In addition to the ethical aspects connected to wasting this huge amount of food in a still food insecure global context, this scenario also implies hidden environmental costs and impacts negatively impacting the biosphere. Indeed, a large consumption of renewable and non-renewable resources and the release of emissions are sustained to produce food becoming waste. All this prevents from reaching the achievement of several United Nation Sustainable Development Goals. This study aims at unfolding hidden environmental impacts of food waste in fifteen different countries at both individual and national scale by means of selected LCA-based indicators. At individual level, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Canada showed worse indicators compared to South Africa, Lebanon, Argentina, and Mexico. At national scale, all the environmental impact indicators calculated for the USA resulted much higher when compared to all the other investigated countries. In particular, in the case of USA, the annual contribution of food waste to the climate change, fossil depletion, and water depletion impact categories resulted in 172 Mt CO2 eq., 22 Mt oil eq., and 11 billion m3 water, respectively. Considering the remarkable ethical and environmental implications of food waste, the outcomes of this study are useful to inform citizens and policy makers about the urgent need for adopting more responsible and sustainable food consumption patterns.

Unfolding hidden environmental impacts of food waste: An assessment for fifteen countries of the world

Skaf L.;Franzese P. P.
;
Buonocore E.
2021

Abstract

Food waste is becoming a global issue since about one third of all the food produced worldwide for human consumption is wasted every year along the food supply chain while a large number of people (822 million) still do not have enough food for an active and a healthy life. In addition to the ethical aspects connected to wasting this huge amount of food in a still food insecure global context, this scenario also implies hidden environmental costs and impacts negatively impacting the biosphere. Indeed, a large consumption of renewable and non-renewable resources and the release of emissions are sustained to produce food becoming waste. All this prevents from reaching the achievement of several United Nation Sustainable Development Goals. This study aims at unfolding hidden environmental impacts of food waste in fifteen different countries at both individual and national scale by means of selected LCA-based indicators. At individual level, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Canada showed worse indicators compared to South Africa, Lebanon, Argentina, and Mexico. At national scale, all the environmental impact indicators calculated for the USA resulted much higher when compared to all the other investigated countries. In particular, in the case of USA, the annual contribution of food waste to the climate change, fossil depletion, and water depletion impact categories resulted in 172 Mt CO2 eq., 22 Mt oil eq., and 11 billion m3 water, respectively. Considering the remarkable ethical and environmental implications of food waste, the outcomes of this study are useful to inform citizens and policy makers about the urgent need for adopting more responsible and sustainable food consumption patterns.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/105318
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