One third of all food produced globally goes to waste

By understanding the problem and making conscious decisions we can change that, and reduce the CO2 emissions caused as a result of this waste.

10 billion tonnes
of food is produced annually

Despite one in four people globally struggling with food insecurity today, we also waste one third of all food that is produced.
  • 20% of dairy products are wasted
  • 35% of fish and seafood are wasted
  • 45% of fresh produce is wasted
  • 20% of meat products are wasted
  • The average European wastes 173kg of food every year
  • The average European household throws away £1800 in food annually
In fact, the environmental impact of food waste is 4 times greater than all airplane flights combined, costing $750 billion annually.The problem is stupid, really stupid.

*Food waste simply refers to any edible food that ends up in the bin. It can be thrown away by farms, shops, restaurants, or in your home. Food waste also happens as a result of industry standards. Producers assume that people will only buy the most 'normal' looking products. As a result, they throw away the 'imperfect' ones before they even reach you on supermarket shelves.

The food industry accounts for 26% of all greenhouse gas emissions vs 2% from airplanes
The impact of food waste is 4 times greater than the impact of all flights in the world combined
Food waste has increased by 204% since 1960 and 50% since 1990
If food waste was represented as a country, it would be 3 largest global greenhouse gas emitter
Yearly CO2 emissions from food waste amount to the equivalent of 3 million cars on the road
Globally, 750 billion dollars each year is lost due to waste food

3 wasted meals equals the same amount of CO2 emissions as

1 car

driving for a full day


newly produced cotton t-shirt

2 kg

avocado transported from Mexico

48 km

airplane flight

Origin, transportation and packaging is negligible in comparison

Food transport accounts for an extremely small proportion of emissions in the food industry. In fact, only about 5% of the food's total carbon dioxide emissions come from transport. For meat on its own, transport accounts for far below 1% of total carbon dioxide emissions.
What you eat and how much you throw away has a much greater impact on the environment than origin, how the food is transported or packaged.

Did you know?

Saving food from being wasted, is environmentally smarter than eliminating cars and flights

100 rescued bananas equal as much greenhouse gas emissions as 20 cars

Not all plastic is bad! Plastic-packed food can often result in the food being kept edible for longer and not wasted

Nuts have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions - trees bind carbon dioxide

Stupid reasons for food waste

4 tips to reduce your food waste


Plan your meals ahead of going shopping. Review what you already have at home, and then what you need. When you shop with a thought out list you decrease the risk of food waste occurring


Storing all your food correctly will extend the life of your produce. Things to keep in the fridge: carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, strawberries, leeks, lettuce & mature avocados. Things to keep out of the fridge: potatoes, lemons, apples, tomatoes, garlic, onions & aubergines


Smell and taste, before you waste. Did you know that 'best before' is a guideline and not a rule? You're not alone, 53% of people don't realise. Plus, plastic isn't always the enemy. Sometimes plastic-packaged food can actually be an environmentally smart move, to keep products lasting longer. To be remembered!

Another 10 ways to reduce food waste

Use Karma to buy food at half price, before it ends up in the bin

Find great food near you

“A great share of all greenhouse gas emissions comes from food waste. Production of food has a significantly greater impact compared to the packaging it comes in. Research shows that smaller packages make environmental sense if the smaller size results in the food being eaten”

Helén WilliamsProfessor in environmental and energy systems

“In fact, the packaging accounts for less than 10% of the environmental impact in the food industry, more packaging material can actually be better for the environment if it reduces food waste”

Ann LorentzonProject manager RISE

Together, we’re
making an impact


tonnes of food rescued


meals saved


tonnes of CO2 saved

What you and Karma together rescued so far equals

6 million km of a driving car
242 times around the globe in an airplane
How we calculated and references
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