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Plate Waste in School Lunch Programs in Beijing, China

Author

Listed:
  • Yao Liu

    () (Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)

  • Shengkui Cheng

    () (Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China)

  • Xiaojie Liu

    () (Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China)

  • Xiaochang Cao

    () (Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)

  • Li Xue

    () (Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)

  • Gang Liu

    () (SDU Life Cycle Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark)

Abstract

School plate waste is of particular concern worldwide due to its adverse impacts not only on resource use and the environment, but also on students’ health, physical maturation, and academic achievement in the long term. Previous studies on school plate waste have all been conducted in industrialized countries, and more studies are badly needed in developing countries. In this paper, we report a pilot study on the patterns and causes of plate waste in school lunch programs in Beijing, China, by a combination of physical weighing, questionnaire survey, and semi-structured interview approaches. Our results show that the average amount of food waste generated by school students in Beijing in 2014 was 130 g/cap/meal, accounting for 21% of total food served. Staple food (43%) and vegetables (42%) were the dominant proportions. Buffet meals resulted in less plate waste than packed meals and set meals. Food supply patterns, the quality of canteen service, and the dietary habit and students’ knowledge of food production were the main influencing factors behind plate waste. To our best knowledge, our pilot study provides a first understanding of the overlooked plate waste in school lunch programs in China, and a good basis for further analysis in this field, and will be helpful in informing policy-making in relevant nutrition and education programs in schools in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Yao Liu & Shengkui Cheng & Xiaojie Liu & Xiaochang Cao & Li Xue & Gang Liu, 2016. "Plate Waste in School Lunch Programs in Beijing, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-11, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:12:p:1288-:d:84719
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luca Falasconi & Matteo Vittuari & Alessandro Politano & Andrea Segrè, 2015. "Food Waste in School Catering: An Italian Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-16, November.
    2. Matteo Vittuari & Fabio De Menna & Marco Pagani, 2016. "The Hidden Burden of Food Waste: The Double Energy Waste in Italy," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-24, August.
    3. Gang Liu, 2014. "Food Losses and Food Waste in China: A First Estimate," OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers 66, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:13:p:3541-:d:243467 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Zhigang, X. & Zongli, Z. & Funing, Z. & Junfei, B., 2018. "The Effect of Preference for Variety and Portion Size on Consumer s Plate Waste in China s Foodservice Sector," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 276951, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food waste; plate waste; school nutritional lunch program; dietary habit; sustainable consumption; China;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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