Exploratory analysis of food waste at plate in School Canteens in Spain

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María Bustamente
Ana Afonso
Ignacio De los Rios https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2015-8983


The research is part of a University-Civil Society relationship, which is framed on UPM-FESBAL Food Banks Chair, as a means to establish a long-term strategic collaboration, in order to "Work with people", to achieve a rational and supportive consumption. A better understanding of food waste generation in school canteens represents a clear opportunity for the application of measures against it, because childhood is considered the best time to raise awareness about this problem and their impacts. Plate waste in school canteens depends of the student´s receptivity for each menu, which is affected by individual and contextual factors. The aim of this research is to approximate the amount of plate waste in school canteens in Spain and identified possible drivers at contextual level, based on the analysis of 118 school canteens in 14 autonomous communities. The results show that, at a territorial level, there are significant differences between plate waste on the coast and interior. At school level, the same thing happens between the waste measured before and after the awareness campaign. Finally, the results show that the plate waste per type of menu differs according to the region where the school is located, which suggest that the acceptance or student´s preferences for menus are related with the region where the school is located.
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