Coaching Families in food waste prevention, Belgium (Pre-waste factsheet 55)

Several good practices identified deal with the coaching of families in France, Sweden and Belgium in waste prevention and making use of their testimonies and achievements to act as local information relays towards the media and other households.

Their aim is to demonstrate that a series of simple actions can reduce waste generation by households and to quantify the reduction potential.

In the Brussels Capital Region, the following pilot project was implemented

Sampling: 6 households with a variety of profiles were selected among some 30 volunteers (families with no, one or several children, already composting or not etc.).

Accompanying behavioural change:Over a 3-month period, the households took part in 3 meetings and a guided visit to a medium sized supermarket during which they were provided concrete advice on how to reduce food and packaging waste and tools to record their behaviour.

Develop a methodology and tools to support behavioural change: Participants manual (in which each household records its habits, waste quantities etc. over time, garbage analysis (weighing and detailed analysis of the households refuse), group meetings (launch, accompanied visit to a supermarket, follow-up meetings)

Measuring behavioural change:Households were asked to provide information on their eating and drinking habits, and to weigh different waste fractions daily: organic fraction including unavoidable organic kitchen waste (such as vegetable peelings, coffee grounds) and food wastage, and recyclable food packaging fraction (such as plastics, metals and tetra cartons). They also kept track of the prevention actions they implemented day to day.

In addition, the content of their rubbish bags (excluding paper waste) were weighed externally by waste fraction during a week at the beginning of the project and during a week at the end off the project.

Analysis:From this data, conclusions could be drawn on the type of food wastage, the quantities, and the causes. A food wastage reduction of 80% was observed over the course of the project. Arguments and actions for waste prevention that were perceived as most effective were identified.

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