Poles throw away about 9 million tons of food products each year, according to data given by the Ministry of Environment. A family of four people wastes an average of 2,5 million zlotys (about 600 euro) in purchases of excess foodstuffs. This is despite the fact that according to the Polish Federation of Food Banks, about 2 million people in Poland live in conditions of extreme poverty. Moreover, this is not only a problem for Poland: on average, 90 million tons of food is wasted each year EU-wide.
Sputnik: Why did we stop valuing food products?
Maria Skołożyńska: I think the reason why every third Pole throws away food is the fact that formerly people had very little food and tried to save every crumb. Nowadays, the food products became more affordable and we gave up reflecting over whether we are able to eat all this food or not. If we cannot eat it, then we throw it away and buy some more. Especially with promotions of two-for-one products, we buy more than we are able to consume. It would be great if throwing out a piece of bread takes more effort than purchasing a new loaf of it.
Sputnik: Are there any other campaigns being run in Poland?
Maria Skołożyńska: Yes, there is an initiative called “Foodsharing.” These are open to all fridges, where everyone can leave the excess food during the year. It looks like this: check the location of the fridge, pack the food in a disposable bag, put the packed food in the fridge and inform Foodsharing about it (the contact information is on each fridge). Foodsharing then disseminates information among those who are in need and informs them where they can pick up the food for free. The campaign already covers the entire country. I am very proud that these projects are working and that we are helping people!