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Data collection on the quantity of generated food waste has started

22.03.2024

At the request of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD), measurements of food waste have been initiated, carried out by Rīga Stradiņš University in collaboration with Ltd. "Jaunrades laboratorija" within the framework of the study "Development of Methodology for Determining the Quantity of Food Waste Generated, Data Collection, Compilation and Analysis, Report Preparation and Presentation".

The aim of the study is to determine the quantity of food waste generated at each stage of the food chain. Throughout 2024, information will be collected and compiled on the quantity of food waste generated in primary production (agriculture), processing and manufacturing, retail and other forms of distribution (such as charity), public catering, and households. Data collection will be carried out using various research methods – companies are invited to fill out surveys, while households are encouraged to participate by keeping diaries during specific time periods, recording the weight, type, and reasons for the generation of food waste in their households.

Natural resources, human resources, energy, and often limited resources are used in food production. Waste is generated in the process of food production and consumption, which needs to be appropriately managed. Measuring the volume of food waste generated is essential for implementing the Food Waste Prevention Program. The results of the measurements will provide an opportunity to assess the situation in the field of food waste generation in detail, develop and implement measures to reduce and prevent the volume of food waste.

Every citizen can participate in the prevention and reduction of food waste, for example, by planning menus or preparing shopping lists before shopping, preparing only as much food as can be eaten, storing food properly, using food leftovers for cooking other meals, or freezing leftovers for future meals. Citizens can also participate in various local community initiatives aimed at preventing food waste generation, as well as support businesses and charities working on reducing food waste through their own example.

It is reminded that generated food waste should be sorted into designated containers or composted on-site. If a container for organic waste is not currently available, the service should be requested from your waste management service provider.

Every four years, all European Union Member States collect information on the quantity of food waste generated and submit the data to the European Commission. The data obtained allows tracking the dynamics of food waste volume in each Member State and the European Union as a whole. This enables Member States to develop measures to reduce food waste and evaluate the effectiveness of these measures. According to EUROSTAT data, in 2020, 58 million tonnes of food waste, or 131 kg per capita, were generated in the European Union. In Latvia, 145 kg of food waste per capita were generated in 2020.

The study "Development of Methodology for Determining the Quantity of Food Waste Generated, Data Collection, Compilation and Analysis, Report Preparation and Presentation" is being implemented within the framework of the LIFE Integrated Project "Waste as Resources in Latvia – Promoting Regional Sustainability and Circularity by Implementing the Waste as Resources Concept" (No. LIFE20 IPE/LV/000014, LIFE Waste to Resources IP). Additional information is available on the website: https://wastetoresources.varam.gov.lv.

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