One third of all food ends up spoiling

KARACHI: Hundreds of thousands of people are gearing up across the globe to take part in World Environment Day, the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action.

Each year, an estimated one third of all food produced ends up spoiling in the bins of consumers, retailers, farmers and transporters. This 1.3 billion tonnes, worth around US$1 trillion, is enough to feed the 870 million people who go hungry each day several times over.

This unconsumed food, much of which can be cut out through simple measures, wastes both the energy put into growing it and the fuel spent on transporting produce across vast distances. Additionally, significant amounts of the powerful greenhouse gas methane emanate from food decomposing on landfills, while livestock and forests cleared for food production contribute to global warming.

The new campaign has already made inroads into spreading the message that every individual and organization can make a difference, and World Environment Day aims to further reinforce this idea.

The main celebrations take place on June 5 each year, although events take place before and after this date. As part of the celebrations, UNEP and partners including the World Resources Institute and the International Fund for Agricultural Development will launch two reports: one presenting a menu of solutions to reduce food waste and loss, and one highlighting how smallholder farmers have the potential to lift one billion people out of poverty given the right support and enabling conditions.

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