How to solve the food waste conundrum

The food waste in India is a serious problem as it averages 50 kg per person every year. The WhatPackaging? Team looks at the steps to be taken in terms of developing a business or a technology model which can ensure that food waste does not happen

04 May 2023 | By Ramu Ramanathan

1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year, and in India, the food waste is about 50 kg per person every year

​Did you know that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted around the world every year? The US produces 91 million tons of food waste. Singapore waste two bowls of food daily per person, while food waste in India is about 50 kg per person annually (UN​​EP, 2021).​​

The 23-acre Bowenpally vegetable market in Hyderabad, India produces around 10 tons of food waste every day. Now the food is no longer going to waste. It’s being converted into electricity and biofuel–around 500 units of electricity and 30 k​​g of biofuel.

It is a matter of serious concern. As per a food technologist who spoke to WhatPackaging?, “the scale of food waste is enormous.” As per a global index report, India is in second place after China in terms of food waste.

We asked Tushar Yeola, a packaging intern at Moglix Packaging about a technology solution to this humongous problem. He said, “By the use of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), we can reduce food wastage in a package, protecting the food material from environmental hazards.”

Tushar Yeola added, “With provision for proper dispensing on the package; mostly for powder and liquid format, reduces wastage of food. Proper dispensing will also reduce the idle time of the lid of the package; used for food dispensing.”.

Which is why, in 2019, FSSAI had started the “​'No Food Waste” project. Under the Eat Right Creativity Challenge, FSSAI has started the Indian Food Sharing Alliance (IFSA). Stakeholders were recognised for their contribution to help resolve India’s food waste and hunger crisis through IFSA.

Anuga FoodTec has moved in the right direction for off-the-grid farming. The world's leading supplier fair for the food and beverage industry has been working in a district of Bihar, with solar-powered cold storage services which are being deployed to lower food waste in areas where electricity provision is limited or unreliable. As per the Anuga spokesperson, “These make use of a service created by a decentralised solar solutions provider that teamed up with a supplier of decentralised solar cold rooms.”

Priyadarshan, an IIT graduate from Pune is a man on a mission. In 2022, he turned 1,000 tonnes of food waste into fuel. Priyadarshan's idea is saving 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions and replacing over 2,670 LPG cylinders every single year.

But these are baby steps, we need to do a lot more.

26 April was Stop Food Waste Day, an international day of action in the fight against food waste. ​​

All of us need to do our part to reduce the economic, environmental and human impact of food waste.
 

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

22.22%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

11.11%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

16.67%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

50.0%

Total Votes : 18

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