The purpose of this initiative is to highlight the global problem of food waste and foster legislative changes in Estonia to counteract this issue. We are advocating for the Estonian Parliament to introduce a food waste reduction law tailored to our country's specific circumstances, inspired by successful examples like the French and Italian food waste reduction laws.
Justification of the initiative:
According to the World Food Organisation, approximately one-third of food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year. This amounts to an estimated global wastage of around 1.3 billion tonnes of food. Food waste not only contributes to massive economic losses but also leads to serious environmental issues, such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and wastage of resources.
In Estonia, it's estimated that over 84,000 tonnes of food waste is generated annually. Given the size of our country and population, this is a substantial quantity. The issue of food waste transcends environmental concerns, affecting social and economic sectors as well. Legislative amendments could help decrease food waste, streamline food distribution, and combat hunger within our society.
- Enact a waste ban for supermarkets: Large supermarkets should be mandated to donate unsold yet consumable food to charities or use it as animal feed, rather than disposing of it. A similar law in France has been successful in increasing food donations, and reducing both food waste and hunger.
- Implement educational programmes: Schools should be required to educate students about food waste to cultivate a culture of sustainable consumption. This should include theoretical teaching and practical activities such as composting and food recycling.
- Penalties and incentives: Non-compliant supermarkets should face penalties, and incentives should be offered for reducing food waste. For instance, Italy has introduced a law that offers tax incentives to food donors, resulting in a significant increase in food donations.
- Develop food waste sorting and composting systems: In Estonia, systems for sorting and composting food waste should be established and promoted, targeting homes, restaurants, and other catering companies. This will not only help reduce food waste, but also enhance soil fertility and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Implementing these proposals will address one of the most pressing societal problems concerning food waste. They will mitigate environmental impacts, improve the efficiency of food distribution, alleviate hunger, and promote sustainable and informed consumption.
Your support for this initiative is crucial. Join the public debate, back legislative amendments, and contribute to the reduction of food waste in Estonia. Together, we can make bigger changes and build a more sustainable future for our nation.
MTÜ Keskerakonna noortekogu