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Food Waste Set to Increase by 33 Percent Within 10 Years
1.6 billion tons of food worth around $1.2 trillion are lost or wasted every year, the study found, and the problem is only getting worse. By 2030, food waste will increase to 2.1 billion tons, worth around $1.5 trillion, BCG estimated.
That's an increase of one third in little over ten years and equivalent to 66 tons thrown away per second, according to calculations by The Guardian.
"The scale of the problem is one that will continue to grow while we're developing our solutions," BCG partner and managing director Shalini Unnikrishnan told The Guardian. "As population grows rapidly in certain industrialising parts of the world, like in Asia, consumption is growing very rapidly."
Confronting the problem is important both for fighting world hunger and climate change, the report said. Food waste makes up eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Resources Institute. And around 870 million people around the world are malnourished.
The report found that food waste most often happens in developing countries during the production of food, when it is being transported from farms. In developed countries, most waste occurs during the consumption stage, where it is wasted by both retailers and consumers.
But the BCG outlined 13 initiatives that companies could take to make headway towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals target of halving food waste by 2030:
1. Help educate farmers to reduce food loss from pests, diseases and weeds.
2. Change packaging and promotions to reduce waste, such as UK supermarket Tesco's Buy One Get One Free-Later promotion that allows customers to pick up free food when they will actually be able to eat it in time.
3. Training employees to better manage food inventory to reduce waste.
4. Adding information to packaging that informs customers about the importance of recycling or reusing food.
5. Improving "cold chain" infrastructure that allows food to be stored in temperature-controlled environments throughout the process from farm to table.
7. Changing how unsaleable food is handled so it can still be used either as a donation or as a material for cosmetics, biofuels or animal food.
8. Increasing local sourcing of food and ingredients.
9. Setting goals for reducing food waste and tracking performance against them.
10. Increasing private and public collaboration to assess how much consumers and retailers are likely to need a given food item.
11. Writing contracts to reduce food waste, such as making sure contracts between retailers and farmers don't encourage overproduction.
12. Encouraging the standardization of food sell-by dates that often confuse customers.
13. Encouraging laws that make donating food easier and discarding food more costly.
BCG estimates that these initiatives will also be good for the businesses that adopt them. Overall, they would reduce food waste by $700 billion a year.
- How the UK's household food waste problem is getting worse | The ... ›
- Reduced food waste means increased income for farmers in Rwanda ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."