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Food Waste Becomes a Major Problem for the Hospitality Industry

News Nowadays, hotels around the world try to be more sustainable and reduce their impact on the environment. As a rule, hotels try to focus their efforts on such spheres as single-use plastic reduction, optimized energy consumption, and waste management. The latter is slowly turning into a major problem as food waste has globally reached unprecedented amounts.

As researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Southern California mention, it is not that simple to calculate food waste in tourism these days. Of course, it is possible to estimate food waste generated by hotels, restaurants, cafes, and different events and celebrations, but the modern tourism industry is not limited to these, and so it becomes complicated to measure all sources of food waste and make correct calculations.

If we calculate all food waste generated by, for example, hotels in Helsinki, the result won’t be accurate because there are also services like Airbnb, camping sites, tourist households, tourists who travel across the country in cars, and so on. Food waste is the most prominent type of waste in tourism, but the problem exists not only in the hospitality industry. Nowadays, food waste has become a global problem that is an issue on many levels. Approximately 1.3 billion tons of food goes to waste around the world every year. This is almost one half of all food prepared for human consumption. This makes food waste an important economic problem, not to mention the environmental impact. Moreover, as people in many places in the world still suffer from hunger, food waste becomes an important social issue as well.

Knowing that this is an issue that requires attention, many hotels can learn from the positive experience of other companies in the industry. Moreover, some of them have become successful in reducing their waste or even receiving benefits from it. However, as researchers mention, food waste management efforts of hotels are not enough as other players in the industry need to join this initiative.

In order to use food more efficiently, tourist households need to identify sources and amounts of food waste and then think of ways to reduce the amount of waste. Special platforms or social media could be helpful in addressing this issue and reaching improvements over time. This would take us one step closer to the circular economy and more sustainable tourism that everyone is talking about.


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