The Danish services sector dumps 288,000 tonnes of food every year, of which 60 percent comes from supermarkets and grocers, according to a new report from the Environmental Ministry.
The report found that in comparison, the total amount of food wasted by the private sector in Denmark on an annual basis is 261,000 tonnes. The environment minister Kirsten Brosbøl has called for change.
“It’s grotesque that the shops are throwing away so much food,” Brosbøl said in a press release. “Every year, food that could fill 1.2 million shopping trolleys is thrown out.”
“Fortunately, many shops are starting to face the problem, but there is still a long road ahead and I urge the retail industry to make serious efforts to prevent food waste.”
Event handing out free food
Food waste was most prevalent among businesses that primarily distribute food products to other companies or consumers, such as the supermarkets. But restaurants, hotels, canteens and institutions also waste lots of food.
Brosbøl wants to reduce food waste through a new strategy and urges shops to do more to tackle the issue, such as taking extra care of fragile food products and reducing the price of goods as they near their expiration dates.
To shed more light on the problem, the Environmental Ministry is giving away free surplus food today between 14:00 and 17:00 at the town hall square, Rådhuspladsen. The event, which is being co-arranged by the consumer association Stop Spild Af Mad, attracted over 6,000 people when it made its debut last year.