European Parliament votes to halve food waste by 2030 thanks to viral petition
Food waste is becoming more of an issue for governments, businesses and environmentalists around the world and this week the European Parliament took action on the issue.
The Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety voted to introduce regulations that will require all member countries to halve food waste by 2030. A triumph for those lobbying their elected representatives in recent years.
The new target was introduced as a draft amendment to the Commission’s Circular Economy Package -“a new legal framework to foster sustainable growth” – which will come into force later in 2017.
Pressure was being put on the European Parliament by lobbyists and environmental groups throughout Europe. Fifty one organisations, from seventeen different countries promoted a petition which asked for the fifty percent target. It garnered more than 64,000 signatures and became widely shared across social media.
The campaign came as a result of the fact that 88 million tonnes of food are wasted each year in the European Union. This food waste would be enough to feed the 55 million Europeans living in food poverty more than nine times over.
The EP has been focussing on the area of waste heavily in recent weeks. This month a 2030 target for packaging recycling was increased to 80%. A target of 75% was previously backed by the Commission.
Those who have been advocating the Circular Economy Package say that the new measures will lead to reduced landfill rates, increased recycling statistics (both household and commercial) and the growth of the circular economy across the EU.