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Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 282; doi:10.3390/su8030282

Environmental Implications of Dynamic Policies on Food Consumption and Waste Handling in the European Union

IVL-Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Valhallavägen 81, SE-100 31 Stockholm, Sweden
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Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
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Abstract

This study will review the environmental implications of dynamic policy objectives and instruments outlined in the European Union 7th Framework Programme (EU-FP7) Project DYNAmic policy MIXes for absolute decoupling of EU resource use from economic growth (DYNAMIX) to address reductions in food consumption, food waste and a change in waste handling systems. The environmental implications of reductions in protein intake, food waste reductions, food waste management and donations are addressed using a life cycle approach to find the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use and water consumption. Data are provided from the Statistics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOSTAT) food balance sheets for the European Union (EU) with a base year of 2010 and life cycle inventory (LCI) data from a meta-study of available GHG, land use and water consumption data for major food products. The implications are reviewed using a number of scenarios for the years 2030 and 2050 assuming policy instruments are fully effective. Results indicate that reductions in animal-based protein consumption significantly reduce environmental impacts, followed thereafter by reductions in food waste (assuming this also reduces food consumption). Despite the positive implications the policy mixes may have for targets for decoupling, they are not enough to meet GHG emissions targets for the EU outlined in the DYNAMIX project, although land and water use have no significant change compared to 2010 levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; food; food waste; land use; water; policy; meat life cycle assessment; food; food waste; land use; water; policy; meat
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Martin, M.; Danielsson, L. Environmental Implications of Dynamic Policies on Food Consumption and Waste Handling in the European Union. Sustainability 2016, 8, 282.

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