The Netherlands is throwing away less food, but it isn't enough

The Netherlands is throwing away less food, but it isn't enough

Recent figures published by the Dutch Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum) revealed that, while the Netherlands has managed to reduce food waste over the past several years, the decrease appears to be levelling off. 

Each person in the Netherlands threw away 33,4kg of food in 2022

According to the Voedingscentrum, the average person in the Netherlands threw away 33,4 kilograms of food in 2022. This marks a decrease of 23 percent compared to 2015, but is just 1 kilogram less per person than in 2019. 

These figures lead experts to worry that, while the amount of food people throw away every year is falling, the decrease in waste is stagnating. “Most Dutch people say they are doing their best. Nevertheless, we see that, compared to previous measurements, food waste decreased less this time,” says sustainable food expert Lilou van Lieshout. “Although we are certainly moving in the right direction, there are still significant steps to be taken. We can all make a difference by wasting less food.”

Bread, pasta, fruit and vegetables are foods wasted most often

As part of the study, the Voedingscentrum monitored the (organic) waste of hundreds of households across 13 municipalities in the Netherlands. The research revealed that bread and pasta are the most commonly wasted food products (6,2 kilograms per person), followed by vegetables (4,4 kilograms), fruit (4,3 kilograms), potatoes (2,8 kilograms) and dairy products (2,8 kilograms).

“These product groups together account for more than half (61 percent) of food waste in Dutch households,” says Van Lieshout, who goes on to explain that preventing food waste “is one of the most effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

By 2030, the Netherlands aims to have halved the amount of food thrown away compared to 2015. While the Voedingscentrum says the country is “reasonably on track”, there is still more that can be done. To reach the 2030 goal, each person in the Netherlands needs to reduce their food waste by just 250 grams per week.

Thumb: Andrey_Popov via

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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