Copenhagen, Denmark -- A new report from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency suggests that a typical Danish family, living in a detached house, throws out around 42 kg of good food every year. The study shows that fruit and vegetables in particular are being thrown out. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has surveyed domestic waste from around 800 households in Denmark. So the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is relaunching the campaign "Use more – waste less". The campaign focuses primarily on food waste and gives tips on how people can reduce their own food waste.
The total amount of food waste, which also includes actual waste such as egg shells, chicken bones and orange peel, amounts to 76 kg per person per year. However, of these 76 kilos, 42 kilos could have been eaten. This corresponds to 105 kg of good, edible food per household per year for an average household in a single-family dwelling consisting of two adults and one or two children.
The amount of food waste that could have been eaten has not previously been investigated at national level in Denmark. This is now happening in conjunction with a survey of domestic waste from detached houses.
Results of the investigation show:
* On average, every person living in a detached house produces 184 kg of domestic waste per year. Food waste amounts to 42 kg. This corresponds to 105 kg per household per year for an average household in a one-family dwelling.
* The total food waste is in the order of 76 kg per person per year. Of this, 42 kilos could have been eaten.
* The investigation shows that fruit and vegetables in particular are being thrown out, even when they are still edible.
* Four-person households (probably the standard family unit) throw out a lot of processed food- in particular leftovers from dinners and lunches. The same does not apply to large families of more than four people, however.
* Single people throw out the most non-processed food, which may be due to them not being able to buy small enough portions.
* Edible food waste (food which can be eaten) constitutes 23 percent of total domestic waste, and food waste (both edible and non-edible) constitutes 42 percent of waste for households in detached houses.
* In the past 30 years, the average quantity of domestic waste produced by a detached house has fallen by 3 kg per week (from 11.8 kg in 1979 to 8.7 kg in 2011).
19 different waste types
The survey of domestic waste from single-family dwellings included an analysis of domestic waste from approximately 800 households. The waste was divided into 19 different waste types, including 6 types of food waste, a number of potentially recyclable types of dry waste, and batteries and small electronic scrap. In addition, the households involved were also interviewed to get to know citizens’ views on the waste disposal system.
The full report (in Danish) on “Surveying domestic waste in single-family dwellings with particular focus on food waste, batteries and small electronic scrap” can be downloaded from mst.dk. Quelle: Danish Environmental Protection Agency / Statistics Denmark