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France's war on waste makes it most food sustainable country; Japan 2nd

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While I approve of what France has done, I have to question some of the assumptions underlying the indicators used in the survey.

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In the end, none of this matters 1%. People by nature are lazy. And even the few that try pale in comparison to those who don't. Thereby making no impact whatsoever.

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I generate little waste, bit of burnable food waste,no pet-bottles, trays, drink cans, etc.

Since I cook all my meals and home make mayo, etc I eat everything I cook.

Also recycle a lot paper, cartons, packagings.

For shopping I use 2 different sized backpacks, so only plastic bags I get are from the rare quicky shopping at the super or combini. Onion, potatoes, etc are bought in nets in 4-6kg range.

Looking at my neighbours: Tons of Pet-bottles, food trays, plastic and other packagings.

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Cleo: "But if the waste erupting from your take-away coffee is such a regular problem, why not try taking your own insulated lidded cup?"

For the most part, I do (ie. Starbucks, from home), but the rare time I buy from McD's, or when I often buy from convenience stores, you can't use them; the former because they give you set sizes and no option to do so, the latter because you can't use the machines with your own cup. I was merely giving an example of what happens here often, and not necessarily daily personal practice.

Now, that said, it IS better than it once was. Supermarkets are starting to ask if you need/want plastic bags, and people are carrying their own to shop. And convenience stores are starting to cut down on expiry date waste.  But still, buy a box of cookies and each cookie in that package is individually wrapped, with the box then wrapped (if fancy), and put in a bag. All that should stop.

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There are no misshapen or slightly blemished vegetables in the vast majority of Japanese shops, so all of them are wasted.

You can find misshaped fruit and veg in the farmers' markets, and sometimes in the Coop.

I imagine a lot of the rest gets used in catering and the production of processed foods - manufacturers aren't going to pay top dollar for perfect fruit & veg that look and taste no different from cheaper stuff when they're peeled, chopped and cooked. Just because you don't see it, don't mean it's all being wasted.

food waste of almost 1,000 kilos per person per year

That's over 2.5 kilos of food per day, per person. More than I bring home in a twice-weekly shop, for two of us...

According to a Dubai newspaper, part of the problem is the fact that 'lavish buffets in five-star hotels are a way of life for many'. So you eat as much as you want, and the tables are still laden with food because no five-star hotel worth its stars is going to let its buffet start looking depleted. Then when the guests have all left, they clear the tables, chuck it all out and start again. A recipe for all-you-can-waste.

smitty -

I understand your feelings of anger and frustration over all the ubiquitous unnecessary packaging, and I agree with you in large part.

But if the waste erupting from your take-away coffee is such a regular problem, why not try taking your own insulated lidded cup? Saves on a polystyrene addition to the landfill every time. And I find just telling the person on the counter No Thank You to sugar, stirrer, cardboard, paper/plastic bag before they get them all out, actually works.

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I'z surprised Japan ranks so high. 

One of the stereotypes I personally have picked up here is of people at restaurants for lunch and dinner leaving food over (think OLs not eating all their rice). 

But then perhaps that food doesn't go out in the trash but gets sent off to the farms or something.

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2nd well thats a surprise but yes I have seen an improvement in selling near expiry date food at discount prices over the years. now lets see if Japan can cut down on the amount of waste plastic and wrapping they use, those small portion sizes come at a cost

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The United Arab Emirates ... was ranked last, reflecting high food waste of almost 1,000 kilos per person per year

That's an astonishing amount of waste; I estimate it's about double the amount I would eat in a year.

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What do they do with the unsold food?

They MUST donate it to charities.

The United Arab Emirates, despite having the highest income per head of the 34 countries, was ranked last, reflecting high food waste of almost 1,000 kilos per person per year,

Says a lot about the country. Disgraceful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One area where Japan does well is portion size. It's very rare for me to not finish a meal here, which is not the case in some other countries.

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Australia ranked 14th. Not good enough. Need to do more. There is more focus on food waste in this country, I expect us to move into the top 10 soon.

Japan at 2, fantastic result. They have 70+ on the 3 measured indices so its all round solid effort.

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The only way Japan came in second on this is if it actually STARTED in the war on waste, which is definitely among the highest in the world. It's like if a man in a shop gives away 90% unnecessary packaging and reduces it by 10%, vs. a man in a shop who only gives away 10% and reduces it by 2%. If I grab a coffee at McDonald's or something for take out they STILL try to put it in a cardboard conatiner, in a paper bag, and then that in a plastic bag with handles, along with the sugar I said I don't need and a stir-stick. I end up leaving it all on the counter and the throw it away.

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in France, where supermarkets are banned from throwing away unsold food

What do they do with the unsold food?

I see in Japan they price down food nearing expiry date which is a good start, but we are still wasting too much.

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It would be interesting to know why Japan scored so highly.

There are no misshapen or slightly blemished vegetables in the vast majority of Japanese shops, so all of them are wasted. Producing food with such cosmetic appeal also involves heavy use of pesticides.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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