Food waste: Luxembourg is alive to the problem, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement

For the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW), celebrated on 29 September, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Viticulture had a survey in relation to food waste and the behaviour of households in the Grand Duchy carried out in 2022.

The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the key factors giving rise to food waste in households.


The study in brief

  • 91 % of households throw away food products on a more or less regular basis.
  • 26 % of respondents throw away at least one type of product at least once a week.
  • 60 % of households consider that, since the start of the Covid 19 crisis, the incidence of food waste has not changed, either for the better or for the worse.
  • 75 % of those questioned are unaware of the correct meaning of the term “use-by date”.
  • 84 % of the households questioned think that there should be greater awareness-raising amongst the public, as an important lever to reduce food waste.

The results of the study throw up something of a contradiction: the households questioned are aware of the food waste problem, and are well-intentioned, but the fact is that the level of food waste in Luxembourg remains very high (75 % of the food thrown away come from domestic households, 10 % from collective kitchens, 8 % from the catering sector and 7 % from businesses, according to the study entitled “Génération, traitement et prévention des déchets alimentaires” (“Generation, processing and prevention of food waste”) carried out in 2018/2019 by the Environment Agency).

It is also interesting to note that the amount of food waste is higher in households with children; this is mainly due to the lack of time available to plan meals in advance, but is also accounted for by the fact that young children’s eyes are often bigger than their stomach.

It has to be said that this challenging problem of food waste, running counter to the good intentions of Luxembourg households, does not result from any deliberate behaviour on the part of consumers. Rather, it arises from actions based on a lack of information concerning the transportation of fresh products from the supermarket to the home, the interpretation of use-by dates, the correct way of storing foodstuffs and, in addition, a tendency to overestimate what one really needs when it comes to special offers and sales promotions.

In the section “What can you do?”, you will find a list of simple actions enabling each of us to significantly and swiftly reduce the amount of food thrown away.

The complete results of the survey