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Review: Consumption-stage food waste reduction interventions – What works and how to design better interventions

Published on Feb 1, 2019in Food Policy3.788
· DOI :10.1016/j.foodpol.2019.01.009
Christian Reynolds12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Sheffield),
Liam Goucher3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Sheffield)
+ 9 AuthorsPeter Jackson44
Estimated H-index: 44
(University of Sheffield)
Sources
Abstract
Abstract Food waste prevention has become an issue of international concern, with Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 aiming to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels by 2030. However there is no review that has considered the effectiveness of interventions aimed at preventing food waste in the consumption stages of the food system. This significant gap, if filled, could help support those working to reduce food waste in the developed world, providing knowledge of what interventions are specifically effective at preventing food waste. This paper fills this gap, identifying and summarizing food-waste prevention interventions at the consumption/consumer stage of the supply chain via a rapid review of global academic literature from 2006 to 2017. We identify 17 applied interventions that claim to have achieved food waste reductions. Of these, 13 quantified food waste reductions. Interventions that changed the size or type of plates were shown to be effective (up to 57% food waste reduction) in hospitality environments. Changing nutritional guidelines in schools were reported to reduce vegetable waste by up to 28%, indicating that healthy diets can be part of food waste reduction strategies. Information campaigns were also shown to be effective with up to 28% food waste reduction in a small sample size intervention. Cooking classes, fridge cameras, food sharing apps, advertising and information sharing were all reported as being effective but with little or no robust evidence provided. This is worrying as all these methods are now being proposed as approaches to reduce food waste and, except for a few studies, there is no reproducible quantified evidence to assure credibility or success. To strengthen current results, a greater number of longitudinal and larger sample size intervention studies are required. To inform future intervention studies, this paper proposes a standardised guideline, which consists of: (1) intervention design; (2) monitoring and measurement; (3) moderation and mediation; (4) reporting; (5) systemic effects. Given the importance of food-waste reduction, the findings of this review highlight a significant evidence gap, meaning that it is difficult to make evidence-based decisions to prevent or reduce consumption-stage food waste in a cost-effective manner.
  • References (53)
  • Citations (5)
References53
Newest
#1Sabrina Stöckli (University of Bern)H-Index: 5
#2Eva Simona Niklaus (University of Bern)H-Index: 1
Last. Michael Hans Dorn (University of Bern)H-Index: 2
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Over the last decade, practitioners have implemented various interventions against consumer food waste. In contrast, academics have only just started to examine how to prevent consumer food waste. This review synthesizes practical and academic evidence on anti-consumer-food-waste interventions. The basis for this synthesis was a systematic framework of antecedent interventions (informational intervention, prompts, modeling (social norms), commitment) and consequence interventions (feedback, rewa...
12 CitationsSource
#1Sabrina Stöckli (University of Bern)H-Index: 5
#2Michael Hans Dorn (University of Bern)H-Index: 2
Last. Stefan Liechti (University of Bern)H-Index: 1
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This field study demonstrates that prompts reduce food waste in a restaurant. Based on the behavioral change literature, it was hypothesized that (1) informational prompts encourage consumers to reduce food waste, and that (2) an informational prompt with a normative message is more effective than a prompt with only an informative message. The results were mixed. As expected, diners who were exposed to prompts asked to take away their leftovers more frequently than diners who were exposed to no ...
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#1Karin Schanes (WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)H-Index: 6
#2Karin Dobernig (University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt)H-Index: 4
Last. Burcu Gözet (WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)H-Index: 1
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In recent years, food waste has received growing interest from local, national and European policymakers, international organisations, NGOs as well as academics from various disciplinary fields. Increasing concerns about food security and environmental impacts, such as resource depletion and greenhouse gas emissions attributed to food waste, have intensified attention to the topic. While food waste occurs in all stages of the food supply chain, private households have been identified as key acto...
74 CitationsSource
#1J.A. Moult (Lancaster University)H-Index: 1
#2S.R. Allan (Lancaster University)H-Index: 1
Last. Mike Berners-Lee (Lancaster University)H-Index: 5
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Food retailers are under increasing political and social pressure to reduce both the amount of food that they waste and the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that their food retailing activities incur. For completeness, when assessing the ‘carbon footprint” of their business activities, food retailers should also included the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their disposal of waste food, which will vary with the waste disposal option used. However, there is lack of quantitative guidance for fo...
10 CitationsSource
#1Simona Romani (Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli)H-Index: 19
#2Silvia Grappi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)H-Index: 16
Last. Ada Maria Barone (Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli)H-Index: 1
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Recent research has started to show the key role of daily food provision practices in affecting household food waste. Building on and extending these previous contributions, the objective of this paper is to investigate how individuals' everyday practices regarding food (e.g., shopping, cooking, eating, etc.) lead to food waste, and how policy makers and the food industry can implement effective strategies to influence such practices and ultimately help consumers reduce food waste. The research ...
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#1Peter Horton (University of Sheffield)H-Index: 81
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#1Laura Devaney (Trinity College, Dublin)H-Index: 6
#2Anna R. Davies (Trinity College, Dublin)H-Index: 24
This article explores the implications of conceptualising, designing and implementing experimental sites seeking to support more sustainable home-based eating practices, or HomeLabs for brevity. Building on earlier phases of practice-oriented participatory backcasting and transition framework construction, the HomeLabs involved collaboration with public, private and civil society sectors and with the members of participating households. These collaborations identified a suite of supportive socio...
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Many countries strive to reduce food waste, which deprives hungry people of nutrition, depletes resources, and accounts for substantial greenhouse gas emissions. Composting and other food waste recycling technologies that divert food waste from landfills mitigate the environmental damages of food waste disposal and have grown in popularity. We explore whether consumer knowledge that the environmental damage created by their food waste will be mitigated by recycling technologies undermines person...
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#1Diana Gregory-Smith (University of Birmingham)H-Index: 7
#2Victoria K. Wells (University of Sheffield)H-Index: 13
Last. David J. McElroyH-Index: 1
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ABSTRACTFollowing Pawson and Tilley's principles of realist evaluation and the context–mechanism–outcome (CMO) framework, this paper conducts a process evaluation of an environmental social marketing intervention in a heritage tourism organisation. Social marketing and employee environmental interventions have received relatively scant attention in tourism. Additionally, prior literature mostly focused on the evaluation of intervention outcomes (i.e. how far the intervention produces precise tar...
3 CitationsSource
#1Jessica Aschemann-Witzel (AU: Aarhus University)H-Index: 22
#2Ilona E. de Hooge (WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)H-Index: 14
Last. Marije Oostindjer (NMBU: Norwegian University of Life Sciences)H-Index: 18
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Food waste accounts for a considerable share of the environmental impact of the food sector. Therefore, strategies that aim to reduce food waste have great potential to improve sustainability of the agricultural and food supply chains. Consumer-related food waste is a complex issue that needs collaboration between various supply chain actors and sector stakeholders. Although a range of initiatives from various actors already exists internationally, there is still a lack of knowledge on which les...
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Abstract As a result of the growing awareness of the need to prevent food waste, several initiatives have been launched in the last few years to reduce food waste generated across the food supply chain. However, the evaluation of food waste prevention interventions is still at an early stage of development and appropriate methods to assess their effectiveness are missing, hampering the identification of best practices amongst existing initiatives and the prioritisation of those that are most pro...
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#1Canxi Chen (ETH Zurich)H-Index: 2
#2Abhishek Chaudhary (IITs: Indian Institutes of Technology)H-Index: 13
Last. Alexander Mathys (ETH Zurich)H-Index: 21
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Abstract Reducing food waste can contribute positively towards multiple sustainable development goals (SDGs) but the differences in the food waste across countries in terms of embedded nutrients and environmental impacts is not well-known. Here we assess the value of daily per capita food waste of 151 countries using two recent indicators for embedded nutrition losses (wasted nutrient days and wasted daily diets) and five indicators for environmental impacts. Globally, on average, 65 kg of food ...
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#1Christina M. Neubig (TUM: Technische Universität München)
#2Liesbet Vranken (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)H-Index: 19
Last. Natalie Masento (University of Reading)H-Index: 2
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Abstract In order to substantially reduce food waste at the household level, it is essential to change consumer behavior. Informing consumers about the food waste issue is a promising means of bringing about behavior change: research confirms that information can increase food waste reduction behavior. However, it has yet to be determined what kind of information is most effective and exactly how that information affects consumer food waste behavior. This study compares the effects of system vs....
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The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) rest on a set of broadly accepted values within a human rights framework. The SDGs seek to improve human lives, improve the planet, and foster prosperity. This paper examines the human rights framework and the principles of social justice and shows that, while the SDGs do not specifically state that there is human right to food, the SDGs do envision a better, more just, world which rests upon the sufficiency of the global food supply, on e...
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Abstract In the course of implementing the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, policymakers, practitioners and academics have increasingly acknowledged the urgency of addressing the food waste (FW) issue in urban areas of developing economies. This paper selected Bangkok as a case study to evaluate options for preventing and reducing FW. The current situation and tendency of FW generation was clarified based on official published data, and ways in which FW is generated by...
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#1Quentin D. ReadH-Index: 8
#2Sam C. Brown (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 6
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Abstract Reducing food loss and waste (FLW) is widely recognized as an important lever for lowering the environmental impacts of food systems. The United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda includes a goal to reduce FLW by 50% by 2030. Given differences in resource inputs along the food supply chain (FSC), the environmental benefits of FLW reduction will vary by stage of the FSC. Here, we identify the points along the supply chain where a 50% FLW reduction could yield the largest potential en...
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#1Alana Kluczkovski (University of Manchester)
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Food systems contribute to up to 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions are increasing. Since the emissions vary greatly between different foods, citizens’ choices can make a big difference to climate change. Public engagement events are opportunities to communicate these complex issues: to raise awareness about the impact of citizens’ own food choices on climate change and to generate support for changes in all food system activities, the food environment and food policy. This ar...
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Reducing food waste is widely recognized as critical for improving resource efficiency and meeting the nutritional demand of a growing human population. Here we explore whether the sharing economy can provide meaningful assistance to reducing food waste in a relatively low-impact and environmentally-sound way. Analyzing 170,000 postings on a popular peer-to-peer food-sharing app, we find that over 19 months, 90t of food waste with an equivalent retail value of £0.7 million were collected by seco...
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Of all stages in the supply chain, more food waste comes from households than any other sector. Dutch composition analysis showed that solid food waste (including sauces, fats and dairy products) via household waste amounted to 48.0 kg per person, per year (in 2013), of which 5.0 kg consisted of cooked rice and pasta. These two product groups were number 1 and 3 in relative waste: 34% of the purchased quantity of rice and 23% of pasta was wasted. Using questionnaires, we discovered that Dutch co...
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