Determinants of Food Waste from Household Food Consumption : A Case Study from Field Survey in Germany

According to FAO about one-third of the food worldwide is discarded. The economic, environmental, and social (ethical) impact of food loss and waste (FLW) is substantial. Food waste (FW) at the household level in high income countries makes a significant share of total FLW. Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals advocates a 50% reduction of the global per capita FW by 2030. The German government has agreed to this goal. Across all sectors, about half of the waste is avoidable. To achieve a reduction of FLW, information on the current level, its causes, and the economic costs of its reduction are necessary. Depending on the definitions and methodologies to measure FLW, studies have come to different results. This study estimates and analyses avoidable and total household FW and for the first time its determinants in Germany. On average, 59.6 kg per capita of food is wasted annually, of which 49% is avoidable FW. The main causes of household FW are eating habits, shopping behaviour, involvement in FW, and retail promotions.


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