Abstract for: Decreasing household food waste: A study of food waste interventions

Households play an important role in the problem of food waste. Unfortunately, there is little evidence as to which possible interventions to reduce the amount of food wasted by households can be successful and which possible interventions do not work. Past efforts to decrease the amount of food wasted by households in the Netherlands have not had significant long-term effects. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential of possible interventions to reduce household food waste. A System Dynamics model has been developed to capture the feedback mechanisms in the system. The model represents different phases in which food waste may be generated: planning, purchasing, storing, preparing, consuming, and re-using leftovers. The results show that influencing food waste in one phase has a limited effect on the total amount of food wasted and that combinations of interventions can strengthen or weaken each other. The model shows that it is important to use combinations of interventions to address both the knowhow of a household about food waste and their willingness to reduce food waste.