Revealing Barcelona’s food waste behaviour

Survey conducted among students

Food waste
Luca De Herdt Luca De Herdt
Britt Verwerft Britt Verwerft

Did you know almost 1/3 of all produced food gets lost or wasted? In Spain, the average food waste is 31kg per person per year.

When we talk about food waste, everyone can imagine something. Just think of concepts such as an ‘all you can eat’-restaurant, a breakfast buffet or the yoghurts that you throw away because they expired yesterday.

But how much food does the average student in Barcelona actually throw away? We prepared a survey and had it answered by 40 international students in Barcelona. These results emerged from our research. The figures down below visualize the results.


Are you aware of the amount of food waste in the world?


How much food would you say you usually throw away each week?


What do you think are the main reasons you waste food? Pick up to three.


Do you throw away food when the expiration date is not reached yet?


Do you still eat food when it is past the expiration date?


What food item gets wasted most in your household?


Do you sometimes ask for a doggy bag when you are at a restaurant?


At a buffet, do you take small portions and go back a few times, or do you load a full plate and leave what you can’t finish?


What do you do when you have leftovers?


Food waste tips

Last but not least we asked our participants if they had any food waste tips they wanted to share with other students. Several tips and tricks emerged from our survey. A lot of people think it’s the most important thing to plan your meals in advance. Besides that, you should only buy the food you know you are able to eat. Another tip was to check out the app ‘Too Good To Go’. On this app, you can buy food and meals that are about to expire. These meals come from restaurants for a small price. One last tip to conclude: you can cook food that is about to expire, freeze it and use it whenever you want.


A lot of students are aware of food waste but do not know yet exactly how much food is thrown away every day. Despite this, the majority of participants indicate that they throw away little food themselves. We discovered that the main reason people throw away food is that it is left too long in the fridge.

42,11% of participants admit to sometimes filling up their plate unnecessarily during a buffet. 89% of the students keep leftovers in the refrigerator for the next day.

Fruit, vegetables and dairy products are thrown away most often. Meat and fish the least often. These products are often the most expensive part of the dish. We took the survey from students, which shows a clear link between budget and food waste behaviour.

Luca De Herdt

Management student in Antwerp, Belgium. Currently on an Erasmus program in Barcelona. Interested in food, travelling and fashion

Britt Verwerft

Communications student from Antwerp, Belgium. Currently on a 5 month Erasmus exchange in Barcelona. Interested in food, lifestyle, reading, writing...