WWF warns of enormous food waste at Christmas in Austria

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According to the WWF, Austria alone produces around one million tons of food waste annually—over 100 kilogrammes per person. The NGO expects even more food waste at Christmas.

The WWF warns of food waste and its consequences before the Christmas holidays. “During the Advent and Christmas seasons and around the turn of the year, we place a particularly heavy burden on the environment and climate. Careful handling of valuable food can significantly contribute to sustainable holidays,” said Dominik Heizmann, WWF expert for sustainable nutrition, in a press release published on Monday.

WWF warns of food waste at Christmas
Due to the difficulty of planning requirements, poor storage and little use of leftovers, a huge amount of food ends up in the bin at this time of year – with consequences for the environment and society. According to the report, 40 percent of all food produced worldwide is never eaten, resulting in ten percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. “If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide after China and the USA,” said the WWF.

WWF recommends donating food to the needy
WWF Austria recommends subsidised food donations to the needy in addition to binding targets and measures to prevent food waste throughout the food chain: “The federal government must remove legal hurdles and promote food distribution through tax incentives,” said Heizmann from WWF Austria.

Distribution of food surpluses against waste at Christmas
The issue of liability, in particular, must be clarified, and social organizations must be supported in distributing food surpluses, while improved data and educational work against food waste are also required. In Austria alone, around one million tons of food waste are produced annually—over 100 kilograms per person. Both the EU and Austria have set themselves the goal of at least halving food waste at retail and consumption levels by 2030 and reducing it along the entire supply chain, the NGO reminded us.

A Christmas feast without food waste
The WWF recommends avoiding hoarding despite the holidays and keeping a good overview of your own supplies for a climate-friendly festive meal without waste. When consuming meat or fish, the origin and quality of the goods should be considered, as well as the right amount. And if there is still something left over from the festive meal, WWF Austria recommends using leftovers creatively instead of wasting them.

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