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Effect Of COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Purchasing and Waste Generation during the Lockdown Period in The Sultanate of Oman

  • Authors
    Abdelfattah F.
    Almaskari T.
    Bashir M.
    Nassani D.
    Albahanasawi A.
    Abushammala M.
    Alazaiza M.Corresponding
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  • gnest_04157_published.pdf
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Graphical abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a threat to public health and caused several social, environmental, and economic problems. During the lockdown in different countries, waste generation has been significantly increased due to the high consumption of packaged food and increase the order of food via online and takeaway. This paper aims to investigate the impact of COVID 19 lockdown on food consumption and the subsequent change in waste generation in Oman. A quantitative research methodology was applied for this study using an online survey during the COVID 19 lockdown. The survey collected information on demographic data, awareness and attitudes toward food purchase behaviour, household food expenditure, and waste generation. The results show that 57.6% of the respondents believed that their food purchasing during the lockdown was increased as compared to before the lockdown. The main reason for increasing the food purchasing was the change in consumers behaviour and cooking more in households during the lockdown. This increase led to the increase in waste generation. One of the main reasons for the increased waste generation during the lockdown was the fact that people have spent more time at home. It was found that food waste and plastic packages were the highest increase (72% and 55%, respectively). These two types of waste are followed by cans and glass bottles with an increase of 68%. Other types of waste such as medical waste, electrical and electronic waste, and paper waste have shown no significant change in waste generation during the lockdown. Overall, this study provides useful information to further promote household food waste prevention behaviour, outlasting the COVID-19 crisis. The results from this study can be used by waste management and municipal utilities on consumption behaviour during emergency situations.

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