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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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A Weakened Hurricane Florence Is Still Dangerous

The weather forecasters are predicting an additional 10 to 15 centimeters of rain to fall in hardest hit area in southeastern North Carolina

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Hurricane Florence
A member of the North Carolina Task Force urban search and rescue team wades through a flooded neighborhood looking for residents who stayed behind as Florence continues to dump heavy rain in Fayetteville, N.C. VOA

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper says the risk to life is “rising with the angry waters” as what is left of Hurricane Florence dumps tons of rain across the state.

“Wherever you live in North Carolina, be alert for sudden flash floods. Pay attention to the weather warnings and be ready to head for safer ground if you’re asked to evacuate,” Cooper warned residents during Sunday news conference.

“Never drive through flooded roads. Just a few inches (centimeters) of water can wash your car away. And that is already happening out there.”

Florence is now a tropical depression, but continues to dump buckets of rain on parts of the southeastern United States as it slowly creeps toward the mid-Atlantic.

 

Hurricane Florence
Susan Hedgepeth is assisted along with her dog Cooper by members of the U.S. Coast Guard in Lumberton, N.C., Sept. 16, 2018, following flooding from Hurricane Florence. Hedgepeth was moved to higher ground. VOA

 

At least 16 people have been killed. Entire towns are completely cut off by floodwaters. Major highways are covered and more than 700,000 homes have no power. Many parts of North Carolina are under a tornado watch.

Top sustained winds are still a brisk 55 kilometers and one meteorologist says Florence is “still a catastrophic, life-threatening storm.”

 

Hurricane Florence
A pickup is submerged in floodwaters in Lumberton, N.C., Sept. 15, 2018, in the wake of Hurricane Florence. VOA

 

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long told Fox News Sunday “This is going to be a long, frustrating event” for those who have lost their homes or face substantial damage when they eventually are able to return.

It said the storm will continue to “produce heavy and excessive rainfall,” endangering towns and cities in its path.

 

Hurricane Florence
Members of a combined New Bern/Greenville swift water rescue team Brad Johnson, left, and Steve Williams rest after searching for people stranded by floodwaters caused by the tropical storm Florence in New Bern, N.C. VOA

 

One of the hardest hit cities in North Carolina was New Bern, a riverfront city not far from the coastline. Mayor Dana Outlaw said the city, hit by a three-meter storm surge at the height of the storm on Friday, has 4,200 damaged homes.

Across North Carolina, 26,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters after escaping their homes in advance of the flood waters.

 

Hurricane Florence
Floodwaters were rising near businesses in LaGrange, N.C., as Tropical Storm Florence pounded the area. VOA

 

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit the storm-ravaged region in the coming days, but only after it is determined his arrival would not disrupt continuing rescue and recovery efforts.

The hurricane agency said it expects Florence will dump up to another 25 centimeters of rain on central and western North Carolina, on top of the 38 to 50 centimeters that has already fallen on the region. It said the additional rain will “produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding, and an elevated risk for landslides in western North Carolina and far southwest Virginia.”

Hurricane Florence
A work truck drives on Hwy 24 as the wind from Hurricane Florence blows palm trees in Swansboro N.C. VOA

Further to the south, the weather forecasters are predicting an additional 10 to 15 centimeters of rain to fall in hardest hit area in southeastern North Carolina, where the storm dumped 75 to 100 centimeters of rain after crashing into the state’s coastline on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Also Read: The Wrath Of Seas And Climate Change

Because the storm virtually stalled after hitting the shoreline, it has dumped record amounts of rain on the mid-Atlantic region, pulling warm water from the ocean. Storm surges, flash flooding and wind have left a path of destruction, with hundreds of thousands of people unable to return to their homes until floodwaters recede, which is expected to take days in many instances. (VOA)