Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on household food waste behaviour: A systematic review
School of Business and Law
Food waste has adverse economic, social, and environmental impacts and increases the prevalence of food insecurity. Panic buying at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak raised serious concerns about a potential rise in food waste levels and higher pressure on waste management systems. This article aims to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on food waste behaviour and the extent to which it occurs using the systematic review method. A total of 38 articles were identified and reviewed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The findings showed that the COVID-19 pandemic led to reductions in household food waste in most countries. Several changes in shopping and cooking behaviours, food consumption, and managing inventory and leftovers have occurred due to COVID-19. Based on these insights, we predicted that some desirable food-management habits would be retained, and others would roll back in the post-COVID-19 world. The review contributes to the food waste literature by offering a comprehensive overview of behavioural changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and future research directions.