Later this year, the European Commission will present binding proposals against food waste and for limiting waste flows in agriculture and horticulture. That would be the first of its kind worldwide, says the European Environment Agency.
As much as a fifth of the food production in the EU is wasted today. Reducing those losses by 2030 could save about 4.7 million hectares of agricultural land, the EEB calculated.
According to the environmental agency EEB, the EU countries waste more food than they import from non-EU countries. In 2021, the EU imported 138 million tons of agricultural products at a cost of 150 billion euros.
At the same time, it wastes 153.5 million tons of food annually, the EEB noted. Food waste is also responsible for a loss of €143 billion per year and accounts for 6% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.
The EEB and 42 other organizations from 20 EU countries released a joint statement on Friday calling on European authorities to legally require member states to halve food waste by 2030.
They also want the waste of agricultural products to be better accounted for. According to a report from the World Wildlife Fund WWF last year, much more is thrown away than previously estimated.