Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Dubai residents told: Don’t waste food – Think. Eat. Save.

Dubai Municipality has launched the "Think. East. Save." campaign in a bid to encourage eco-friendly eaters.

DUBAI// Residents are being urged to reduce the amount of food they waste.

Launched yesterday to coincide with World Environment Day, Dubai Municipality's "Think. Eat. Save." campaign hopes to encourage people to be eco-friendly eaters and help to reduce their carbon footprint in the process.

"There is an urgent need to raise awareness among people about food wastage in the world," said Hamdan Al Shaer, director of the municipality's environment department.

"People should be educated about the environmental impact of the food choices they make."

Each year about 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted across the world, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and experts say the Middle East is a large contributor to this. If a similar amount of food could be saved, it could feed the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.

Global statistics show that one in seven people go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die every day from hunger.

According to a YouGov survey, 78 per cent of respondents in the UAE said they throw food away each week.

Mr Al Shaer said: "As per experts, one-third of global food production is either wasted or lost. Food waste is an enormous drain of natural resources and hence a contributor to negative environmental impacts."

The municipality will organise lectures and events in the next two weeks for students, government employees and the public on how to reduce their carbon foot print.