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Waste 2 Worth

About the Project

Waste 2 Worth (W2W) is Vocational Education Training (VET) Erasmus+ initiative that will demonstrate the relevance of food waste streams in the fight against climate change and aid in the development of circular and bio-economies across Europe. We will bring learners/SMEs on a pathway to potential innovation and circular / bio-economy development opportunities on how to reduce waste and turn it into a valuable resource.


Project Description

Food waste is a significant problem in the European Union (EU), with an estimated 88 million tonnes of food wasted annually. The issue not only has environmental and economic consequences, but food waste is a major contributor to food insecurity in the EU.  From an environmental standpoint, food waste contributes to climate change by releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, during decomposition. According to a report published by the European Commission in 2019, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the food and drink sector account for around 42% of the total food waste generated in the EU. This translates to approximately 47 million tonnes of food waste per year. The report also highlights that ~88% of this waste is avoidable, meaning that it could have been prevented with better management practices. This highlights the need for SMEs to adopt sustainable practices and reduce food waste to address this issue.

Food SMEs are essential players in the food sector, contributing significantly to the economy and creating employment opportunities. However, food SMEs face various challenges, including this issue of food waste, which affects their bottom line and contributes to environmental degradation. The objective of Waste 2 Worth is to provide tailored support to VET bodies, food SMEs, bio-economy stakeholders & regional/agricultural agencies to increase awareness of the impact of food waste on the environment & economy. By creating an awareness & ultimately a mapping of avoidable waste within food SMEs, we will encourage innovative thinking into how they, by collaborating in a circular way in the wider community, can better use these wastes creating worth & economic gain.

The five experienced pan-European partners will collaboratively develop & create tools and resources to fill the skills and knowledge gap among VET educators and Food SMEs that will equip and empower them, to recognise the connection between food waste valorisation and urgent climate action and how both target groups with knowledge & awareness, can develop and implement transferable skills (collaboration & problem-solving) and tools to address and improve the food waste challenge becoming changemakers of and for Europe.

Paula Whyte

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