Too many leftovers in Finland

Too many leftovers in Finland

FOOD WASTE: Finns waste 61.2 kilos of food per head each year Photo credit: CC/Maxmann

Despite an ongoing debate regarding food waste and recycling, Finns still throw away a great deal of food.

National broadcaster YLE spoke recently to researchers from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) who calculated the amount of wasted food by sifting through household rubbish in Pirkanmaa, Finland’s second-most populated area.

Analyses indicated that sorting waste for recycling has increased slightly since 2016, with food used for biowaste rising from 35 to 39 per cent.

Nevertheless, the Luke experts found that government campaigns and higher food prices resulting from the Ukraine war have not significantly reduced food waste.

They found that each person wastes an annual 61.2 kilos of food, only 0.9 kilos less than the findings of similar research in 2016.

Both surveys found that approximately 25 kilos of the food which Finns put in the rubbish bin each year could still have been eaten.

“People simply cannot be bothered to change their habits,” said Sampa Nisonen from Luke.

He and other team members identified working from home as partly to blame for so much uneaten food.  People making a meal often tended to cook larger portions than they needed, they said, but did not go the trouble of freezing leftovers for another day.

“Maybe people are busy and can’t be bothered to make the effort,” Nisonen said in the YLE interview.

“Food waste is created at all stages of the food cycle, from primary production to end consumption,” he and Kirsi Silvennoinen, a senior Luke scientist, stated in a newly-published blog post.

“Households accounted for roughly half of all food waste,” they wrote, pointing out that this was doubly regrettable because they were wasting time and effort as well as food and money.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at