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In the 2015 film “Just Eat It,” journalist and author Jonathan Bloom says that food waste is “one of the last environmental ills that you can just get away with,” mocking society’s so-called “environmental consciousness” despite its ignorance of some obvious issues. This acceptance of food waste is ironic, and raises a red flag for environmental advocates and waste professionals alike. Food waste will keep piling up if industry leaders don’t inform consumers and retailers on how massive of an issue it really is.
Changing consumer habits or structural supply chain systems is no easy task. It involves educational campaigns, marketing and consistent reminders. These tactics can increase scrap collection rates, boost support of organics processing systems, or ultimately mitigate the problem from the source, making education highly important for industry leaders to pursue.
The magnitude of food waste can be hard to conceptualize, yet understanding this magnitude is the first step toward building a mindful society. Waste Dive compiled eight of the most impactful numbers that put into perspective just how vast the issue really is — and what the industry is doing to address it.