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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Food waste changes in the Swedish public catering sector in relation to global reduction targets

Malefors, Christopher; Strid, Ingrid; Eriksson, Mattias


Global food waste reductions are difficult to evaluate. The global ambition is to halve food waste by 2030. In this study, eight years of food waste quantification data from Swedish public catering were used to monitor changes and evaluate progress towards global reduction targets. A 15–30% reduction was observed and the current trend was a declining level of food waste within the sector. The goal of halving food waste by 2030 appears to be achievable, provided that all canteens perform in line with those studied. However, the canteens studied may represent the best-performing, so the actual change or current levels of food waste may have been underestimated. The present situation (2020) is that approximately 19,000–21,000 tonnes of food waste are generated annually in Swedish preschools and schools. Therefore, canteens in these establishments need appropriate tools to monitor waste levels and progress, and incentives encouraging them to continue reducing food waste.


Canteen; Meal planning; Sustainability aspects; Food systems; Public sector; Food service; School meal

Published in

Resources, Conservation and Recycling
2022, Volume: 185, article number: 106463