Speaking at the International conference on Sustainable Food and Bio Waste management in Malta today (31 May), the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella (pictured), said that the Commission will be proposing a common EU methodology to measure food waste.
“We are looking to manage biowaste more effectively… That’s why the Commission has proposed separate collection of bio-waste”
He said a solid evidence base was needed before best practices can be shared.
Eighty-eight million tonnes of food produced in the EU is wasted (20%) every year. This is worth 143bn euros.
“Better measurement will improve our understanding of where these losses occur, and how,” Vella said.
“We’ll be setting up a new platform, which will make it easier to cooperate on these questions and share results. And it will help us target EU action more carefully, to ensure that it’s effective.
“We’ll be looking at the barriers to reuse, and checking any institutional reasons that might be holding it back. That will cover animal feed as well as food. We’re also thinking about clearer guidelines for food donations, and clarifying the safety and hygiene requirements, and the fiscal implications.
“And we are looking to manage biowaste more effectively. A lot of biowaste, quite simply, is the result of wasted food. It often makes up half of all municipal waste and it poses considerable environmental risks. That’s why the Commission has proposed separate collection of bio-waste. It will improve recycling generally, and it will also close a loop, when biowaste goes back to soils in the form of compost and fertiliser.”
Preventing food waste is included in the Circular Economy Package adopted last year. It requires member states reduce food waste, monitoring levels and reporting on progress.
Sustainable Development Goals, adopted at the United Nations last year, put in place the target of halving global food waste per capita at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reducing food losses along production and supply chains.
The Commission is currently hosting Green Week to discuss European environment policy – taking place from Monday, 30 May to Friday, 3 June 2016.
This year’s theme is on “Investing for a greener future”: how investment should integrate economic opportunity with sustainable environment practice.