To give you an idea of the scale of things: charitable organisations such as
Tischlein deck dich
save 10,000 tonnes of food each year throughout Switzerland. The almost 3,000 food savers at
save a further 200 tonnes each year. No mean achievement, in view of the extent of volunteer activities involved. But set these figures against the more than 300,000 tonnes of food waste generated in the Swiss food retail and restaurant sector alone, and they make up only a few percent.
Granted, there are one or two lighthouse projects, such as the
restaurant, where food is transported from farm to fork with practically no loss. But companies that avoid food waste in such an exemplary manner are still the exception rather than the rule.
An ambitious yet essential step
Let’s make no bones about it: in these times of climate change and fragile ecosystems, squandered food is ethically, ecologically and financially unacceptable. I believe Switzerland must strive to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. As consumers, we are key actors here: our food-related behaviour and choices have an impact on the level of waste, not just in our households but in the entire food system.
Halving the amount of avoidable waste by 2030 would save between 9 and 15 percent of the climate effects of our diet, which corresponds to about 1.5 to 2 percent of the climate emissions of our total consumption. At first glance, this may not seem much. But there’s hardly any other area where we can achieve so much through simple practices, such as taking a look in the fridge before going shopping, or packing leftover food in a Tupperware for later.