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By 2030, 2 Billion Tons of Food Waste Would Have been Pinned: Study

We need a shift in our attitudes to food waste — I think we need to get to the point where it just isn't acceptable to throw food in the bin.

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Study: Global Food Waste Could Rise by a Third by 2030. Flickr
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Food waste could rise by almost a third by 2030 when more than 2 billion tons will be binned, researchers said on Tuesday, warning of a “staggering” crisis propelled by a booming world population and changing habits in developing nations.

The United Nations has set a target of halving food loss and waste by 2030. But the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study found that if current trends continued, it would rise to 2.1 billion tons annually — an amount worth $1.5 trillion.

“We are seeing a real crisis at a global level,” one of the study’s authors Esben Hegnsholt told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The amounts of waste and the social, economic and environmental implications are serious if we don’t change the trajectory. When we fight food loss and waste, we also fight hunger, poverty and global warming.”

Food Waste
A worker removes expired food in a local supermarket in Brussels on Jan. 16, 2017. The European Court of Auditors chided the European Union’s executive branch in a report, “Combating Food Waste,” that decries the bloc’s lack of effort in reducing the food waste, estimating the EU wastes 88 million tons of food per year. VOA

Around a third of the world’s food is lost or thrown away each year. Currently, we waste 1.6 billion tons of food annually, worth about $1.2 trillion.

Much of the projected increase was down to a swelling world population, with more people resulting in more waste, said Hegnsholt, a partner and managing director at the management consultancy.

Household waste will increase in developing countries as consumers gain more disposable income, said rhe report, which identified five key changes which it said could save nearly $700 billion in lost food.

They included more awareness among consumers, stronger regulations and better supply chain efficiency and collaboration along the food production chain.

Liz Goodwin, director of the food loss and waste program at the World Resources Institute, said the report raised serious issues but oversimplified some of the solutions.

Food Waste
Food waste in India, VOA

“It’s connected with the way our lives have changed and the fact that food is now so much cheaper,” she said, also citing a growing demand for convenience and a lack of cooking skills among younger generations.

Also Read: Hotel Guests Check Out of Plastic Waste On Thai Island

Goodwin said she believed measures to cut wastage were having an effect, and the world would at least be on the way to meeting the 50 percent reduction target by 2030.

Consumers, businesses and regulators would all have to play a role in driving change, she said.

“We need a shift in our attitudes to food waste — I think we need to get to the point where it just isn’t acceptable to throw food in the bin,” she said.(VOA)

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Parliament In Sri Lanka Gets Dissolved, President Calls For Election

The U.S. State Department tweeted that it is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena waves to supporters during a rally outside the parliamentary complex in Colombo, Sri Lanka. VOA

ri Lanka’s president dissolved Parliament and called for elections on Jan. 5 in a bid to stave off a deepening political crisis over his dismissal of the prime minister that opponents say is unconstitutional.

An official notification signed by President Maithripala Sirisena announced the dissolution of Parliament effective midnight Friday. It said the names of candidates will be called before Nov. 26 and the new Parliament is to convene Jan. 17.

Sri Lanka has been in a crisis since Oct. 26, when Sirisena fired his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. Both say they command a majority in Parliament and had been expected to face the 225-member house Wednesday after it was suspended for about 19 days.

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Sri Lanka’s sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holds a copy of the constitution of Sri Lanka as he attends a media briefing at his official residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka. VOA

Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama told The Associated Press Saturday that the reason for the president to dissolve Parliament was the need to go to the people to find a resolution to the crisis.

“On the 14th there was to be a lot of commotion and unparliamentary activities sponsored by the speaker,” Amunugama said. “The speaker was not planning to act according to the constitution and standing orders of Parliament.”

Sirisena’s supporters had been irked by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s announcement that he was going to call for a vote for either party to prove their support.

Miscalculation

“The dissolution clearly indicates that Mr. Sirisena has grossly misjudged and miscalculated the support that he might or could secure to demonstrate support in the Parliament,” said Bharath Gopalaswamy, director at U.S.-based analyst group Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. “At the end of the day, he is a victim of his own homegrown crisis.”

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Sri Lankan civil rights activists hold placards during a demonstration outside the official residence of ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo, Sri Lanka. VOA

Wickremesinghe has insisted his firing is unconstitutional. He has refused to vacate his official residence and demanded that Parliament be summoned immediately to prove he had support among its members.

Tensions had been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president did not approve of economic reforms introduced by the prime minister. Sirisena has also accused Wickremesinghe and another Cabinet member of plotting to assassinate him, a charge Wickremesinghe repeatedly denied.

Sirisena was critical of investigations into military personnel accused of human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s long civil war against a Tamil separatist group, which ended in 2009. Rajapaksa, who ruled as president from 2005 to 2015, is credited as a hero by the ethnic Sinhalese majority for winning the conflict. But he lost a re-election bid in 2015 amid accusations of nepotism, corruption and wartime atrocities.

Constitutional question

Wickremesinghe’s camp is likely to contest Sirisena’s move because of constitutional provisions stating a Parliament can’t be dissolved until 4 ½ years after its election. The current Parliament was elected in August 2015.

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Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapakse addresses journalists at his residence in Colombo, Sept. 22, 2018. Rajapakse has been appointed the Sri Lanka’s new prime minister. VOA

“It’s totally unconstitutional,” said Harsha de Silva, a member of Wickremesinghe’s United National Party and a former minister. “Sirisena has relegated the constitution to toilet paper. We will fight this dictator to the end.”

The party said in a Twitter message that it will meet the elections commissioner to discuss the constitutionality of Sirisena’s move.

US urges caution

The U.S. State Department tweeted that it is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, “further deepening the political crisis.”

Also Read: Once a Hostage, Sri Lankan Sailor Now Helps Battle Somali Pirates

“As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity,” the statement said.

Earlier, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and two other lawmakers wrote to Sirisena warning that actions circumventing the democratic process could impact U.S. assistance, including a planned five-year aid package from the Millennium Challenge Corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (VOA)