For a small island, Ibiza produces an awful lot of waste. According to official data, the island generates about 600kg per person per year, higher than anywhere else in the Balearics and way above the EU average. More than 50kg of that is discarded food, and that’s a problem not just for our wallets but for the health of the planet. Not only does producing food we don’t eat waste precious resources such as water and energy, but processing, packaging and transporting it generates harmful CO2 emissions, while food rotting in landfill emits methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas.
Of course, food waste isn’t just a problem at home. With the huge array of restaurants and mouth-wa-tering cuisine available during tourist season, we can all be accused of having eyes bigger than our bellies and over-ordering from time to time. Don’t be shy about asking for a doggy bag to take home, though – under a new Spanish law, establishments are legally required to provide this to customers, free of charge. Some restaurants – such as Can Mimosa, Reart, and Es Ventall – are taking significant strides towards becoming zero-waste kitchens. Check them out if you can!
DID YOU KNOW?
- Globally one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted.
- In the EU alone, 140 billion euros’ worth of food is wasted every year.
- One kilo of food waste has the same global warming potential as one litre of petrol burned.
- If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third-biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Meal plan before you do your weekly food shop and only buy what you need.
- Buy loose instead of pre-packaged fruit and veg, ideally locally grown direct from farmers’ markets or farm shops. Check out our KM0 map at ibizaproduce.org for more info.
- Store food properly to keep it fresher for longer – put mushrooms in a small paper bag to keep them dry; wrap your leafy greens and herbs in damp paper towels; store carrots in water.
- Freeze, preserve or sun-dry unused food before it goes off; turn stale bread into croutons; use vegetable scraps and leftover bones to make stock.
- Invest in a zero-waste cookbook for more ideas and recipes.
- Download the Too Good to Go app to discover great deals on surplus food from local shops and restaurants.
Find out more about IbizaPreservation’s work – including its Ibiza Produce project – by going to ibizapreservation.org or following the foundation on Instagram or Facebook @ibizapreservation.