Opinion: Wasteful

POSTED: 01/24/13 10:27 AM

With prices going through the roof one would think that consumers are careful with their resources. This is not only about money: it is also about what people do with the money they have and with the products they buy.

If the Netherlands is any example for what it happening in St. Maarten there is room for a lot of improvement. The lobby organization environment central made a garbage sorting analysis.

That sounds nicer than it really is: the organization went though garbage bags in eleven different municipalities and sorted their contents. What they found is, to say the least, remarkable.

Dutch people throw away every day one of the five slices of bread they buy. Extrapolated to the whole country, this amounts to 400,000 complete loafs of bread, or ten million slices of bread. Think about it: throwing away ten million slices of bread every day, while elsewhere in the world people have nothing to eat at all, or where people have trouble making ends meet.

And there is more: of all rice and pasta Dutch consumers buy, 40 percent ends up in the garbage.

Environment Central calculated, after correcting the findings in a comparison with sales figures, that consumers waste 14 percent of the food they buy.

To put the findings in perspective: all Dutch households together waste 800 million kilos of food per year. That amounts to 100,000 garbage trucks filled with food, Environment central notes. The real situation is even worse, because the figures only relate to waste at home. Losses in stores, in storage, during transport and in agriculture are not included, Environment Central says.

If the good people in St. Maarten are as wasteful as the Dutch, the following figures emerge. If 17 million people in the Netherlands waste 800 million kilos of food, the average waste per head is 47 kilos. If we assume (necessary because the statistics department still has not finished counting heads from the April 2011 census) that there are 40,000 people living on the Dutch side of our island, they waste between them 1 million and 880,000 kilos of food per year.

But maybe we are doing much better than those wasteful Dutch. Still, if we’re half as bad as our brethren on the other side of the ocean, we’re still throwing away 940,000 kilos of food. That is an awful lot, especially since we constantly hear stories about children that are going to school hungry.

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: Wasteful by

Comments are closed.