Time to bring the future of food waste to the table
Nearly two months after the publication of the European Commission 2015 work programme, the future of the Circular Economy package as a whole – and of the Food Waste target in particular – remains unclear. With MEPs openly calling for the package’s reinstatement, on January 22, during a parliamentary hearing, the Commission provided reassurance. Indeed, an improved text should be published before the end of 2015.
However the question remains. With over 100 million tonnes of food wasted annually in the EU, how can regulation tackle the problem? Nobody knows yet.
For ISOPA, this uncertainty is a call for action.
On January 27, ISOPA brought together Nicola Caputo, Member of the European Parliament, Anne-Laure Gassin policy officer in the European Commission Directorate General for Health and consumer, academics, representatives of Member States, industry and NGOs for a lively and open discussion on food waste prevention.
One problem. Many causes. What policy action?
All participants concurred that food waste has reached unacceptable levels in Europe and in the world. They all made a call for quick policy action. Unfortunately, awareness campaigns in spite of being necessary do not suffice anymore. A political momentum has emerged in Europe compared to a few years ago. The extent of the problem has raised the issue high on the political agenda.
The will is there; but what should be done? The question is everything but an easy one to answer. The debate reflected such complexity as speakers and participants highlighted the multifaceted nature of the issue. They underlined that consumerism, confusing date marking, unreliable data, breaks in the cold chain, or dysfunctional waste management should also be addressed in order to efficiently tackle food waste.
In the end no final consensus could be reached. At EU level, all eyes are on the Commission and the direction it is planning to take with the Circular Economy package. It is assumed it will work at full speed in the coming months.
ISOPA determined to contribute
As an active stakeholder ISOPA is determined to take part in the debate. The event was a perfect opportunity for Frank Grunert, ISOPA’s President, and Jörg Palmersheim, its Secretary General, to remind the audience of ISOPA’s commitment to food waste prevention and its determination to engage with regulators and all relevant stakeholders.
As Frank Grunert highlighted, polyurethanes contribute every day to make our life safer and comfortable and our lifestyle more sustainable. This is particularly the case with regards to food waste prevention as polyurethanes play a key role in the efficiency and maintenance of the cold chain thanks to their unique insulating properties.
Overall, it was a great evening. Regulators, manufacturers and NGOs put their differences aside and brought their added values together to discuss an issue of ever-growing importance. And in doing that, they didn’t leave a crumb in their plates!