Top Ten Countries with Highest Rate of Food Wastage

Food is one of the most important parts of our lives. As much as it’s a need, it is a significant part of a countries culture. There are countries in the world where people have to work hard to put food on their plate even once in a day and countries like on this list waste tons of food on daily basis. On one hand there are kids dying of malnutrition because they don’t have enough food to eat, on other hand there are people throwing food just because they have too much food that they are not able to consume before its expiry.

As the studies confirm, about 1/3rd of the food produced in the world is wasted and the highest level of wastage comes from the developed countries where people are educated enough to understand its effects. Here is list of 10 such countries, which need to take effective measure to reduce wastage.

10. Singapore

Top Ten Countries with Highest Rate of Food Wastage

The only Island state-city in the world, it has a population of 5,535,000. Singapore is also known as the Lion City, Red Dot and the Garden City. It consists of 63 islands, including Pulau Ujong, which is the main island. One of the major environmental issues it been facing for years is food wastage. Every year over 788,600tons of food is wasted. Out of the total food wasted, only 13% or 101,400tons of it is recycled.

During the new year, as per the Chinese calendar, the food wastage increases by 20%. Singapore spends about S$14.8billion on imports of food every year, out of which, about 13% is wasted. Taking the issue seriously, people are taking steps to spread awareness among the society so that food wastage can be reduced at individual level as well.

9. Malaysia

Top 10 Countries with Highest Rate of Food Wastage
Photo via Image via Afif Abd Halim / The Malaysian Insider.

Malaysia is situated in the southeast part of Asia and is a federal constitution. It constitutes of 3 federal territories and 13 states. It has an estimated population of 31,165,000. It is predominantly agriculture and industry based economy. It also suffers the problem of food wastage, which comes majorly from the urban parts.

Every year around 540-560kgs of food is thrown which mainly includes bakery item, fruits and vegetable. Necessary measure are been taken to reduce the wastage by the government of Malaysia.

8. New Zealand

newzeland food
Photo via mscnewswire.co.nz

Situated in Pacific Ocean, it’s an island nation with a population of about 4,708,160. It has two parts North Island and south Island. New Zealand depends heavily on international trade, mainly agricultural products. 24% of its output is exported, out of which 55% were food products. One of the environmental issues New Zealand is facing is that of food wastage. According to a study, 122,547 tons of food waste comes from its household, which is enough for 262,917 people.

The cost of food was estimated to be $872 million for a year. The food wasted includes Breads, Leftovers, Potatoes, Apples, Chicken, Bananas, Lettuce, Oranges, pumpkin and Carrots. If food wastage is eliminated it will have the equivalent effect as reducing CO2 emission by 325,975tons- that’s like removing 118,107 cars from the road or planting 130,390 trees.

7. United Kingdom

uk food
Photo via inhabitat.com

Surrounded by Atlantic Ocean, Britain is one of the Sovereign States in the Europe. According to 2016 estimate, it has a population of 65,110,000. Its economy is 2nd largest in Europe and 5th in the world. Agriculture is highly mechanized and intensive, meeting 60% of its food needs with only 1.6 percent of labour force.

40% of UKs food supplies are imported every year. Food wastage is one of the biggest concerns of the country. Every year about 6.7 million tons of food is wasted, which costs around 10.2 billion pound each year, out of which potatoes, apples and bread slices are wasted in the highest quantity with salads being thrown in large proportion. In 2007, a campaign “Love food, Hate wastage” was launched to spread awareness among people about food wastage. After 2 years of the campaign launch, they claim to have reduced the wastage by 137,000 tons and saved 300million pounds.

6. Germany

Photo via www.euractiv.com

It’s a sovereign state in central-western part of Europe with a population of 81,770,900. It has 16 states and has Berlin as its largest city and capital. Germany has high level of skilled labour force and service sector contributes 71% of the GDP, with industry contributing 28% and only 1% comes from agriculture. Like any developed country on the list, Germany also faces the problem of food wastage.

According to a recent study, about 80kgs of food is thrown every year, of which over half comes from the household sector, 20% from retail markets and 17% from restaurants and cafes. Required measure are been taken to reduce the wastage. An initiative “to good for the bin” has been taken and as a part of it, a website will be launched where people can read about the food wasted and what exactly “best before date” means.

5. Norway

The next on the list is Norway, a sovereign & unitary monarchy. It has a population of 5,214,900. Countries 3% of the land is used for agriculture. It imports most of its grains and large quantities of vegetables and fruits. Food wastage is also a matter of concern in Norway. About 60,000 tons of waste comes from food industry, 68,000 from retailers and 231,000 from the households.

The food wasted is around 620kgs/person every year. According to a survey, 90% of the waste from the retailers is the food that has expired, including breads, bakery items, vegetables and fruits, fresh sea food. After the issue of food wastage got the lime light, people showed keen interest in lowering the wastage.

4. Canada

It’s a country in the North America, consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories spreading over Atlantic to Pacific and into Arctic Ocean from north. It has a population of 36,155,487. Even though Canada is a developed country, it has been facing the problem of food wastage.

Every month, a total of 17.5 million of food is thrown out by the residents of Toronto. Each household throws about 275kgs of food every year, in Toronto.In the country as a whole, 51% of the waste comes from household, 11% from retailers and 18% from the packed and processed food. Food waste just doesn’t have its effect on the economy but environment as well. The landfills produce gasses which contribute to global warming and other environmental problems.

3. Denmark

It is a Scandinavian country with a population of 5,707,251, in Europe. The Kingdom of Denmark, a sovereign state, constitutes of Denmark proper and two autonomous countries Greenland and Faroe Island in Atlantic Ocean. Agriculture contributes about 2% in the GDP of the country. Denmark is the largest producer of pork and largest exporter of pork products in the European Union.

Food wastage became a very critical issue in Denmark after various studies revealed that about 700,000tons of food is wasted every year and costs around 11billion DKK annually. 260,000 tons of waste came from household and 133,000tons from the food industry. To reduce food wastage, a Stop Wasting Food movement was launched and has been working on it for past 7 years. Due to this movement, the wastage has dropped drastically by 25% and 4.4 billion DKK.

2. Australia

Australia as a Country consists of the main Australia, Tasmania Island and few smaller islands. According to area, its world’s 6th largest with a population of 24,166,800. Being a developed country, it faces many environmental issues like higher levels of carbon dioxide, less rainfalls and one of the major concerns is food wastage.

Every year, 400,000tons of food is wasted, which costs around $8 million; 345kg comes from every household, which is equivalent to 3 average size fridges. Food wasted includes 33% of fresh food, 27% leftovers, 15% packed and long life products, 9% drinks, 9% frozen food and 7% takeaways. Most of the food is wasted by the young consumers, households with an income more than $100,000 every year and families with children. According to a study, 20-40% of the fruits and vegetables are rejected even before they reach the stores because they don’t match their cosmetic standards.

1. United States of America


Commonly known as America or the United States, is a federal Republic comprising of 50 States and 5 territories. The territories are spread over Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. According to an estimate in 2016, it has a population of 324,099,593. Agriculture constitutes 1% of its GDP and yet it is the highest producer of corn and soybeans. America’s fast food industry is the largest in the world.

According to a recent survey, almost 50% of all the produce is thrown away- about 60 million tons worth, that is, 1/3rd of the foodstuff. The food wasted is single largest occupant in landfills of America. The annual wastage per family is $1600. When the food is disposed off, produces methane, a greenhouse gas with higher global warming possibility the carbon dioxide.

Top Ten Countries with Highest Rate of Food Wastage

Sr No. Countries with Highest Rate of Food Wastage
1 United States of America
2 Australia
3 Denmark
4 Canada
5 Norway
6 Germany
7 United Kingdom
8 New Zealand
9 Malaysia
10 Singapore

The places on the list are also famous tourist destinations in the world. So, next time you take a trip to any of these places, make sure you don’t add to the food wastage percentage and help them overcome the problem and main their scenic beauty.

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