'If food waste was a country, it’d be the fourth biggest for emissions' – infographic

Energy & Climate Change

While food waste may not be one of the key drivers that springs to mind when we think about climate change, a powerful new infographic has revealed why it should fast be rising to the top of the climate action agenda.

Created by Experian and British data-journalist, writer and information designer and David McCandless, as part one of their 'Information is Beautiful' series, it reveals that the scale of global food waste is so great that if it represented a country it would place fourth behind China, the US and India in terms of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Further figures reveal that while food composting schemes are already in place in many areas of the UK, 2.5 million tonnes of food waste is dumped ever year with 1 million of this figure ending up in landfills and the remaining 1.5 million clogging up UK sewers.

As well as the bad, the infographic also delivers good news, emphasising that food waste is a climate change problem we can solve, revealing that the UK is taking action to reduce food waste with total UK food waste down 22 per cent (from 8.2 million tonnes to 6.4 million tonnes) between 2007 and 2018.

It also offers up a myriad of everyday tips and tricks we can all employ to reduce food waste including smart freezing, storage and reusing parts of fruit and vegetables that we would normally throw away, such as broccoli stalks.

Last month naturalist, TV presenter and environmental campaigner, Chris Packham named cutting down on meat consumption and food waste as one of the three actions that need to urgently be taken to address climate change alongside not digging up any more fossil fuels and cutting back on consumption, generally.

Read more:

COP26 artwork shows how food waste feeds climate change

John Lang: we meet the man behind the game-changing COP26 infographic

Share this article

Become a member

Whether you are studying, actively looking to progress your career, or already extensively experienced, our membership will add value and recognition to your achievements. We can actively help you progress throughout your career.

Become a member

View our events

We organise a wide portfolio of UK and international thought leading events, providing an industry recognised forum for debate, CPD and sector networking. These events also support our policy work and inform key initiatives.

View our events