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英国是提倡如何“光盘”

The United Kingdom

Food waste is a huge problem in the UK, where abundant availability has led to consumers not appreciating the value of food as much as previous generations, when times were harder and food much scarcer.

Private households are responsible for almost 50 percent of the food thrown away in the UK every year. UK families discard 7.2 million metric tons of food and drink annually, costing the average household 480 pounds ($756) a year and rising to 680 pounds for families with children, the equivalent of around 50 pounds a month, according to the website Love Food, Hate Waste, in November 2011. The website is affiliated with the nonprofit Waste and Resources Action Programme, which has government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Graham Jukes, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, a nonprofit organization, said that household waste often results from consumers throwing food away even though it is still edible.

"For our food sold in supermarkets, there is often a 'use-by' date, which complies with the labeling requirements. These dates are fixed so there is a leeway to ensure the food is safe, but many people just throw away food after the 'use-by' date passes, when in fact the food may be perfectly good to eat, and maybe 60 years ago they would have eaten it," he said.

Jukes said the attitude of UK consumers toward food waste has changed dramatically since the Second World War. "The wealthier a society becomes, the more it is able to throw good food away," he said. "People think: 'I'm reasonably well off, so I don't mind having excess food. It demonstrates we're not in a bad situation anymore!"

In recent years, successive UK governments have launched campaigns to encourage consumers to reduce waste. A system was also created whereby industry players feel financial pressure: Restaurant owners are required to separate their food waste from other types. They then have to pay professional collectors to take waste away. The system is intended to dissuade businesses from binning excessive amounts of waste.

The UK has no formal legislation on reducing food waste, said Jukes, and legislation relating to food waste is often implemented for the purpose of ensuring food security.

Industry associations that promote the sustainable handling of food waste also play a key role in raising awareness of the issue among individuals and restaurants.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association is a nonprofit membership organization established by individuals in the catering industry in 2010 to help restaurants adopt sustainable practices. It has about 1,100 member restaurants.

"Many restaurants had the best of intentions, but didn't know how to change," said Tom Tanner, the SRA's media manager.

SRA staff provide member restaurants with advice and information that can help to reduce food waste. They advise restaurants to provide smaller portions and encourage customers to use doggy boxes to take leftover food home.

A survey carried out by the SRA in 2010 found that the average London restaurant threw out 21 tons of food waste every year; 30 percent of the waste came straight from customers' plates.

"Some restaurants serve large portions or lots of cheap side dishes. The customer may not realize how much food they have ordered, and can end up paying for something they cannot eat," said Tanner.

The results of the survey prompted the organization to launch a campaign in 2011 called "Too Good To Waste". The campaign encouraged consumers to feel comfortable about asking for doggy boxes for leftover food and encouraged waiters to offer them at the end of a meal.

"In the UK, people are either too embarrassed to ask, or they assume the restaurant won't be allowed to give them doggy boxes," explained Tanner.

The SRA also urges member restaurants to prepare food in quantities likely to match customer requirements. "For example, if a restaurant expects 50 customers during the evening, we encourage them not to prepare 50 portions of the evening's special dish. It's better to run out than throw away," he added.

So far, the campaign has proved successful and many member restaurants have also been able to reduce costs by employing the SRA's suggestions.

 

食物浪费在英国也是个很大的问题。随着食物供给的充足和品种的丰富,加之英国人的消费能力较过去增强,导致现在消费者不像前几代人那样珍惜食物。

来自英国的Love Food, Hate Waste 网站的统计数据显示,2011年英国每年扔掉的食物中50%来自普通人的餐桌。英国家庭每年扔掉的食物和饮料高达720万吨,相当于平均每家480镑,而对于有孩子的家庭这个费用则高达680镑每年。

Graham Jukes, 英国特许环境健康研究所负责人说普通家庭浪费的食物主要来自于不少消费者因为“最佳消费日期”标签而误以为食品过期扔掉造成很多浪费。其实,食品最佳消费期限意味着过了这个期限食物的口感可能不如以前,但食用绝对无害。

Jukes 说英国消费者对于食物的态度从二战后发生了巨大的变化。“社会变得越富有,食物就会被扔的更多。”他说,“因为人们认为自己生活的不错,可以负担得起那些被扔掉的食物,这表明自己不再贫穷了。”

但是,虽然大部分英国人仍受到传统观念的影响,但不断变化的环境已让越来越多人开始意识到食物浪费的严重性。近几年来英国政府也意识到了问题的严重性,采取了很多措施来减少浪费。比如,要求餐馆把食物垃圾进行分类。然后餐馆再付不同的费用请不同的专业收购者把垃圾带走。这种做法旨在减少大量食物浪费的产生,迫于这方面费用的支出,餐馆也会减少食物的浪费。不过,目前英国还没有专门针对减少食物浪费方面的法律。Jukes说目前针对食物方面的立法主要是关于如何保障食品安全的。

此外,许多行业协会也在减少浪费,帮助民众和餐馆提高节约意识推动可持续发展方面起了很大的推动作用。

2010年成立的餐馆可持续发展协会(SRA)就是其中一个,旨在减少餐馆产生的食物浪费,工作已经起到了很大的成效,目前有会员餐馆1100家。协会负责人Tom Tanner说:“许多餐馆都有减少浪费的意识,但是很多人都不知道该怎么做?”

他说,我们所做的正是为他们提供可行办法教会他们该如何去做。比如他们建议餐馆改卖小份菜同时鼓励顾客把吃不完的食物打包带回家。SRA在2010年做过的一次调查发现,平均每个伦敦的餐馆一年要扔21吨食物,其中30%来自客人餐后盘子里剩下的。

他还说,很多顾客根本没有意识到自己点的菜量有多大,他们付了很多钱,但是实际上吃不了那么多。

2011年,SAR还发起了一个叫做"Too Good To Waste"的运动,餐后服务员主动提供打包袋来鼓励顾客不要认为打包没有面子。

Tanner说不像在美国,人们很自然的就想到餐后打包,英国人会认为要求打包很没面子或是直接就要求餐馆不要提供打包袋。Tanner同时鼓励餐馆每天准备适量的食物。“比如一个餐馆每天晚上大概会接待50位客人,我们建议餐馆准备少于50份食物,买过了总比卖不了扔了更好啊!”

目前来看,很多餐馆再引入SRA的建议后,食物浪费量都有了明显的减少。



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