Published On: Wed, Mar 26th, 2014

Turning food waste into resource? – EU actions and forward thinking projects. Welcome PlasCarb!

Food waste is food loss occurring during  the retail and final consumption stages due to the behaviour of  retailers and consumers – that is, the throwing away of food.1 This definition describes well what “food waste” means in legal terms,  but who knows what it means in numbers.  Did you know that almost 90  million tonnes of food waste is generated annually in the EU, which is  180kg/person/year, and about 126 million tonnes a year is expected by  2020 unless actions will be taken?

The Europe 2020 Strategy and its  flagship initiative “A Resource Efficient Europe” describes that  resource efficiency should be improved in the food sector and different  actions need to be identified in order to halve the disposal of edible  food waste in the EU by 2020.3

The European Parliament designated 2014  as the ‘European year against food waste’. Various promotional materials  have been developed by the EC to change the behaviour of the public and  highlight that every single person has an important role in the  reduction of food waste.

Business sector is also active in this  field. Food waste is a difficult waste fraction to manage which  represents high waste management costs; therefore, it requires high  level expertise to transform it into renewable resources. During the  past years, a wide range of projects, ideas and initiatives have been  launched with the aim to manage and reduce food waste.

Novel ideas and new concepts are always  appreciated in this market. A team of forward thinking experts from  eight European countries – the consortium of the PlasCarb project – identified that mixed food waste could be a feedstock to manufacture  products for different markets. PlasCarb, the 3-year long project  co-funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7),  aims to transform food waste into a sustainable source of significant  economic added value, namely graphitic carbon and renewable hydrogen. If  you would like to know how the PlasCarb technology will work and what  the achievements of the project will be, check out the brand-new project  website


This is how we aim to contribute to  achieving EU’s food waste objectives! Of course managing food waste is  not enough we have to reduce food waste. Reducing food waste is a shared  responsibility and every single people need to contribute to this  activity.

And what can you do as a person? Plan  your shopping and check what items you have at home already, use up your  leftovers, make compost, etc.!

Why not? Solutions are in front of you; you just have to grab them! Let’s reduce food waste!


1 Definition of food waste – Wikipedia

2 EPRS Briefing: Tackling food waste (2014)

3 Roadmap to a resource-efficient Europe- COM (2011) 571 final

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