“We had only made very simple estimations before and believed that more than half of the waste came from shops. But it has become clear that the largest share comes from households,” said Hans Wrådhe of the agency to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).
Lacking data on the food wastage in the country, the agency decided to initiate a probe, which came up with a surprising discovery.
Previously, authorities had believed that the largest share of wasted food stuffs was generated by food stores, but instead, it is the Swedish households that waste most food every year.
Shops and supermarkets still make up a large share of the food waste however and many of the larger chains are now seeking to keep waste to a minimum by cooperating with charities, such as the Salvation Army and with women’s crisis centres.
“To reduce wastage of food is important both environmentally and from a financial viewpoint. We will save a significant amount of money by wasting less food,” said Maria Smith at supermarket chain ICA to DN.
Efforts are being made to reduce food wastage both as a Nordic initiative and at an EU-level. It is also a priority in a new strategy for sustainable waste management (Avfallsplanen) for 2012 to 2017, according to the paper.