Food Waste An Environmental Concern As Well - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Food Waste An Environmental Concern As Well

Published April 30, 2016

Photo by
Matthew Eisman

The amount of food Icelanders throw away is even contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, The Environment Agency of Iceland says.

Kristín Linda Árnadóttir, the agency’s director, told RÚV that food waste contributes to about 5% of Iceland’s greenhouse gas emissions. As such, she believes we need to do better.

“It is of course quite remarkable to think of what a huge volume of food we throw out, which costs us money,” she told reporters. “If we throw it away, it becomes pollution. It is believed that 5% of greenhouse gas emissions are the result of food waste, so it’s a win-win for us if we reduce food waste.”

A survey conducted by waste management company Sorpa found that about 70% of Icelandic households admit to throwing away a significant portion of food, but food waste is not solely produced by Icelandic households. As reported, supermarkets throw away about one-third of the food they put on their shelves.

Some supermarkets and other food stores have sought to reduce this waste, by either giving food away that has reached its sell-by date, or by selling it for cheap up to several days past “expiration”.

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