The average Czech throws away about 40 kilograms of food a year. People in housing estates waste the most food, while in rural areas, waste is less, which is related, among other things, to the fact that in these localities there is a better possibility of composting or feeding animals.
To avoid such waste, for example, people could start offering food to charities. And that is exactly what three Prague canteens are trying to do. In their attempts, one hundred portions of food have been donated to local shelters.
Up to 25 kilograms of food are thrown daily in each Czech canteen. “This number equals to around 30 to 50 portions, maybe around two to five percent of the total amount during daily operation,” said Anna Strejcová, director of Zachraň Jidlo, an organization that strives to reduce food waste.
“We should aim to donate around 100 meals to five different charities,” said Denisa Rybářová, marketing manager.
“We are, of course, very happy doing this and will certainly be appreciative of any other similar opportunities coming our way in the future,” said Stanislav Fiala, the director of Azylový dům svaté Terezie, a social services organization providing shelter to those in need.
830 thousand tons of food are thrown away every year in the Czech Republic, of which more than two-thirds come from catering facilities, wholesale, and supermarkets chains. “The total amount of the not sold and thrown away food in our stores is around 0.67 percent of the total amount,” said Tesco Stores spokesman Václav Koukolíček.
Part of Tesco’s initiatives to help with food waste is feeding farm and zoo animals. “This equals to about 5600 tons of food per year,” added Koukolíček.
According to data from the European Commission, households produce 53 percent of food waste, compared to just 5 percent from the “Wholesale/Retail” sector. Most often people waste fruits and vegetables, followed by pastries, milk, meat, and eggs.
A new amendment to the Food Act, aimed at reducing food waste, came into force in the Czech Republic in January 2018.
The amendment stipulates that all supermarkets in the Czech Republic over 400 square metres must donate unsold but still edible food to charities.