Every year each household in Latvia spends 200 and more euros on food that ends up thrown away, as concluded in a research performed by Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry.
Aside from food, people also throw away packaging, which makes it impossible to recycle. In December the ministry commenced a special initiative “Thrown out, not lost”, which would run until March 2020. This initiative urges residents to change their habits and reduce waste generation in households.
“We are the ones who generate waste and we are the ones responsible for reducing pollution, which is gradually becoming an ever-increasing threat for the environment. This is why involvement from every person is so important here. The ministry has launched the “Thrown out, not lost” to invite residents to think more about their shopping habits,” says minister Juris Puce.
He stresses: “We urge residents pay more attention to environment-friendly solutions for packaging and shop more responsibly. We also invite parents and their children to participate in educational activity to help change their shopping habits and reduce generated waste volume”.
As part of the aforementioned initiative the ministry has created a special environment-friendly website Neizmet.lv. In cooperation with recipe author Linda Vilmansone-Virbule and multiple well-known campaign ambassadors residents will be able to learn seven simple and delicious recipes for meals prepared from leftover food.
Survey results show that one-quarter of residents has a strong habit of putting all waste in a single bag.
Additionally, the majority of residents do not sort their waste because there aren’t any appropriate containers in their vicinity. One-fifth of residents say sorting waste is a time-consuming and inconvenient activity.
By shopping for food more reasonably, households would be able to save money. A single household spends an average of up to EUR 250 on food every month. Most residents admit 10% of what they buy ends up in the trash. Nearly one-fifth throw away 20% of the food they buy, which reaches nearly EUR 600 for every passing year, the ministry notes.
Most often residents throw away food because its best before term is up or the product has been damaged from the start. Still, nearly a quarter of Latvian residents admit food ends up the trash because too much was bought. Nearly 30% of residents throw away food products because they find the taste is not to their liking. 45% of resident throw away leftovers, the study concludes.
The survey was performed by Norstat. 1,055 residents across Latvia were interviewed. (BNN/Business World Magazine)