Lochhead has urged action to reduce Europe’s “vast amount of food waste”, the equivalent of more than twice the weight of the entire adult population of Europe.
An estimated 89m tonnes of food is binned every year across EU member states with the largest share of food waste produced by households.
The Secretary made the call as he attended the prestigious international Milan Expo, which is themed “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.
Richard Lochhead –“So I urge the EU to lead by example and co-ordinate action at European level. A good start would be to consider the role of food waste reduction targets in its forthcoming circular economy package”
He said: “The size of Europe’s food waste problem is absolutely jaw-dropping and the fact that it is equivalent to more than twice the weight of the entire adult population of the continent highlights the scale of the challenge for us all. Such wastefulness is bad for the environment, bad for our finances and should make us all pause for thought.
“Scotland is already taking steps to reduce the amount of food we throw away, including encouraging individuals, households and communities to cut food waste and the £1bn annual cost to Scottish consumers.
“So I urge the EU to lead by example and co-ordinate action at European level. A good start would be to consider the role of food waste reduction targets in its forthcoming circular economy package.”
Richard Lochhead attended the Expo as part of a series of engagements and meetings to promote Scotland and Scottish food and drink.
The call comes as it was announced last week that a food waste reduction bill, which was put forward by Labour MP Kerry McCarthy, will get a second reading after receiving cross-party support.
The Bristol East MP introduced the bill to help reduce the amount of food needlessly wasted through the food industry supply chains – from production through to retail.
The bill will aim at redistributing this surplus food to charities and to people living in food poverty.
Richard Lochhead will be speaking at this year’s Scottish Resource Conference 2015 on creating the future: circular economy policy in Scotland & Europe. For information on how to attend click here