Improving awareness and the right behaviour are weapons to combat domestic food waste. It is up to research and industry to give a second life to waste materials. And governments to educate their citizens in correct behaviour.

The fight against food waste is overall well represented by the SDG 12.3 commitment of the 2030 Agenda which has been a United Nations initiative since 2015. One of the main focuses regarding the high volumes of wasted products is consumers’ behaviour.


In houses around the world food is wasted in similar ways. But the solutions for combating this paradoxical food loss at the domestic level are also cross-border and shared, at least according to the statements of those interviewed by the Cross Country 2021 survey carried out by Waste Watcher International Observatory. More food education in schools and to the public is the most shared proposal by the people of eight countries questioned, and held to be useful in developing greater knowledge about food waste and to incentivise virtuous behaviour to reduce this phenomenon at the domestic level. Holding this opinion are 86 in 100 people in Italy and Russia, 85 in Spain and 8 out of 10 in Germany and the United Kingdom. There is a certain consensus also around initiatives to raise awareness on climate and economic damage caused by waste, and proposals such as creating information labels on the correct use of products. After this, in the opinion of the interviewees, smaller packages are helpful, while the idea of an anti-waste tax linked to the squandering of food is less popular.

“Let us all shop carefully, cook creatively and make wasting food anywhere socially unacceptable while we strive to provide healthy, sustainable diets to all.”
Inger Andersen - Executive Director - United Nations Environment Programme, March 2021



The recovery of industrial waste offers great development opportunities for companies and savings for non-renewable resources. For some time, the agri-food processing and production chain has been studying systems to reuse often large quantities of processing waste, which finds its way back into the production process in the form of components for animal feed, fragrances for cosmetics, edible packaging, compostable plastics. Or textile fabrics.
Such is the case of Orange Fibre, an Italian company founded in 2014 in Catania, Sicily, an area of excellence in the production of citrus fruit. “In Italy every year more than 700,000 tons of citrus fruit by-products are produced” says Enrica Arena, co-founder of Orange Fiber. “We decided to transform what was a problem for many processing industries into an opportunity. In collaboration with the Milan Politecnico, Orange Fiber developed an innovative and patented process for producing sustainable textile fibres, using citrus processing waste, amounting to 60% of the original weight of the processed fruit. The result is a silky, resistant and sustainable fibre, used more and more in the world of conscious fashion.

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