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Halvarsson, Runa, 2023. Investigating food waste composition in school catering with focus on carbon footprint. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Energy and Technology



Food waste has a great impact on the environment and generates approximately 3.3 giga tonnes of CO2-eq annually. The SDG 12.3 set by the UN, to halve the global per capita food waste by 2030, is one of the measures that strives to combat this problem. There is a necessity to implement reduction measures across all stages of the food chain in order to reach this goal. In Sweden there is about 33 000 tonnes of food waste generated from public meals annually, with roughly 9 200 tonnes originating from elementary schools.
For this study, plate waste from two elementary schools in Uppsala, Sweden, was analysed with the aim of gathering knowledge into what food categories that are wasted in schools and their quantities. The aim was also to investigating the climate impact of the plate waste. Understanding more about plate waste could help implement measures to reduce it and to ensure that pupils receive their daily energy intake. The method of waste composition analysis was used for eight days over a two-week span to separate and weigh plate waste based on food categories. To assess the climate impact of the waste, a carbon footprint was used. The results were that pasta and potatoes were wasted the most at both schools. Vegetables, fish, meats, and bread were wasted in low quantities. However, beef had the highest carbon footprint of all observed food categories. Plant based foods had a small climate impact. In order to reduce their impact on the climate, the schools will have to implement further food waste reduction strategies. Future research should focus on how to address the problem areas that this study has discovered, in order to reduce food waste and the climate impact of school canteens without compromising the recommended nutritional meals that Swedish schools provide.

Main title:Investigating food waste composition in school catering with focus on carbon footprint
Authors:Halvarsson, Runa
Supervisor:Sundin, Niina
Examiner:Eriksson, Mattias
Series:Examensarbete / Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:2023:09
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:NK001 Biology and Environmental Science - Bachelor's Programme, 180.0hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Keywords:waste composition analysis, plate waste, climate impact, elementary schools, canteens
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Deposited On:21 Jun 2023 08:13
Metadata Last Modified:22 Jun 2023 01:01

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