Poland occupies fifth place in EU for food waste

Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

The average Pole wastes 247kg of food a year, putting Poland in fifth place in Europe, where the average is 173kg per capita, the Polish Economic Institute (PIE) has reported. The most commonly wasted foods in Poland are bread, fruit and smoked meats.

PIE said that the total annual food waste in all EU member states stands at around 88 million tonnes. The primary sources of wasted food in Poland are households, which account for 53 percent of all food thrown away, followed by food processing (19 percent), restaurants (12 percent), production (11 percent) and distribution (5 percent), according to experts cited in the latest edition of 'PIE Economic Weekly.'

"Among the causes of throwing away food, the most commonly expressed, for several years, has been food exceeding the use-by date (29 percent of cases). Other important reasons are: over-shopping (20 percent), excessive portions (15 percent), buying poor quality produce (15 percent) and improper storage (13 percent), PIE said.

According to food banks in Poland, as many as 1.6 million people may be living in extreme poverty and every year the country wastes around 9 million tonnes of food.