Save food, save money
IKEA aims to halve food waste at its restaurants by mid-2020.
This huge furniture retailer also runs one of the world’s biggest restaurant chains, and its aim is both to save money and reduce its own eco impact.
Food waste at each of the Swedish company’s nearly 400 in-store self-service outlets, known for their trademark meatballs, averages some 300kg everyday, noted Ylva Magnusson, a spokeswoman for Ikea Food Services.
Restaurant and grocery chains are under growing pressure to reduce food waste. With around 650 million restaurant visitors last year, Ikea threw away some 43,000 tonnes of food.
A scheme launched in December at 84 of its restaurants measured what was thrown away, and at what time of the day and week. This resulted in 79 tonnes less food waste as the amounts it cooked were better tailored to demand.
“Based on an average dish price of 5 euros (RM24), we have avoided throwing 880,000 euros (RM4.2mil) in the bin,” Magnusson said of the initiative, which will now be rolled out across all markets.
The United Nations says a third of food produced is not eaten, and food loss and waste accounts for US$940bil (RM4 trillion) in economic losses and 8% of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Its 2016 Sustainable Development Goals called on all states to halve food waste by 2030.
The “food rescue” group OzHarvest of Australia adds that:
● Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).
● Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.
● If food is wasted, it means that all the resources used to make that food are also lost. For example, 16,000 litres of water goes into cow food to make just one hamburger. The greenhouse gas emissions from the cows (especially methane) also cause global warming. – Agencies