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News Mountains of wasted food at Tokyo Olympics

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Grist to the mills of Olympics sceptics: in addition to the graft scandal, there is a new focus on the waste issue. According to an ongoing audit of the Tokyo Summer Games, 175 tons of food prepared for athletes and 300,000 bento boxes for volunteers and staff members were tossed out as trash. Several factors contributed to the waste, including disruptions and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and scandals in the run-up. However, Olympic volunteers also pointed to mismanagement.

About 90,000 people worked as volunteers for the Summer Games. Up to 1,207 tons of food ingredients were used to prepare about 870,000 meals for athletes and staff at the Athletes' Village, according to the board's report submitted to the Diet on Dec. 21. The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee signed contracts with operators to provide meals and beverages there and paid 7.1 billion yen ($53.9 million) until fiscal 2021, the board said. To meet requests from the International Olympic Committee, the operators made about 700 kinds of dishes available for each meal at the main dining halls to cater to diverse dietary habits and religious practices. Still, about 175 tons of food untouched by athletes went to waste, the board said. The organizing committee also arranged to have about 1.6 million bento available for volunteers and staff during the Olympics. About 300,000 of them were thrown out. The food-waste problem was particularly noticeable during the Opening Ceremony, when operators discarded 4,000 of the 10,000 meals prepared.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Sapporo said it will become challenging to continue efforts to bring the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics to the city if a nationwide survey expresses widespread sentiment against the move. Sapporo and the Japanese Olympic Committee said Tuesday they would halt aggressive promotional efforts for Sapporo's bid in the wake of the scandals while announcing a nationwide survey will be conducted to establish the public's sentiment toward the bid.


Uncle Frank

21 May 2003
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Bbox.jpg Bento boxes for the North Korean team were special made.
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