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Title: Analysing household food waste in the Maltese islands
Authors: Vella, Daniel
Keywords: Food waste -- Social aspects -- Malta
Food consumption -- Social aspects -- Malta
Households -- Malta
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Food wastage accounts for 52.1% of municipal solid waste in the Maltese Islands; however, to date, there has been limited research seeking to understand why this statistic is so high. The aim of this dissertation was thus to identify and evaluate driving forces that contribute to household food waste generation in the Maltese Islands, and to obtain a better understanding of how/ why food waste is generated and dealt with. Two hundred and twelve survey responses were obtained from households in the Maltese Islands. The primary data collected was mainly analysed using IBM-SPSS, a predictive analytics software. Results showed that the overwhelming majority of respondents dispose of household food waste mainly with rubbish for collection in black bags. The most common volume of household food waste disposed of per week is less than half of one 2L container. Leftovers, fresh vegetables/ unused vegetables/ rotting vegetables and bread are the most commonly wasted foods. The most common reasons why food gets wasted in Maltese households, include: ‘too much food is cooked’, ‘leftovers are not re-used or eaten’, and ‘food in the freezer or fridge goes off (or left for too long). The median euro value of food bought per week is €75 which equates to €3,900/year/household. The median euro value of food wasted per week is €7 which equates to €364/year/household. The study also indicated that household food waste increases proportionally with food shopping frequency. Misunderstanding of the ‘Use By Date’ and ‘Best Before Date’ might be a significant driver of food waste among respondents. Food waste prevention does not yet appear to be well established in the Maltese Islands, so triggering simple behaviour changes, strengthening the link between food waste and its environmental impact, and building awareness among society is an important initial step to undertake.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsES - 2016

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