Exploring Household Food Waste Reduction for Carbon Footprint Mitigation: A Case Study in Shanghai, China

Volume (Issue): 12 (17)

With the steady growth of the global population and the accelerated urbanization process, the carbon footprint resulting from food waste has a significant impact on the environment and sustainable development. Considering Shanghai’s significance as a major urban center in China and a global hub for economic and cultural activities, this study primarily aims to accurately estimate household food waste generation and calculate the carbon footprint related to edible food waste. It analyzes the factors influencing household food waste generation and reviews the anti-food waste-related policies at both the national and Shanghai regional levels. The study reveals that although the Shanghai municipal government attaches great importance to the issue of food waste, the current policies mainly focus on the catering industry, and there is still a need for further strengthening measures to address food waste at the household level. In Shanghai, the per capita daily food waste generation is 0.57 kg, with 43.42% being edible food waste, contributing to a per capita daily carbon footprint of 1.17 kgCO2eq. Employing the logistic regression analysis to scrutinize the characteristics of the respondents, it is ascertained that education level and annual household income significantly influence food waste generation. In addition, excessive food quantities and expiration dates lead to high-frequency food waste. The culmination of this study is the formulation of a series of pragmatic and impactful policy recommendations aimed at curbing the carbon footprint that stems from food waste.