Tokyo Olympic 2021 Organizer’s Food Waste Backlash and More


The 2021 Tokyo Olympics has officially started, there has been a series of scandals here and there regarding the Tokyo Olympic Games, the organizers, and so on. The latest news is the trucks of food being discard after the opening ceremony is facing significant backlash regarding the food waste issue. Let’s take a closer look.

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Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony and Food Waste

Japanese bento
It was revealed through a video that after the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 23rd, trucks of food were being discarded into dumpsters. Which went viral online and causing backlash.

Thousands of unopened pre-ordered bento boxes and onigiris were discarded after the changes of holding the Olympic Games without spectators were made, thus, causing the reduction of volunteers. There were too much pre-ordered food, around 20~30% more food than needed were at all venues, unfortunately.

In addition, through the press release, the Tokyo Olympic Organizer Spokesperson, Takaya Masanori revealed that the busy schedules of the volunteers also made it difficult to have time to eat.

Tokyo Olympic 2021’s Sustainability

Be Better, Together

2021 Tokyo Olympic Games’ Sustainability Slogan

Tokyo Olympics aims to be a sustainable Olympic event with clear structures and strategies of sustainability.

Such as promoting energy efficiency and saving methods, using as much renewable energy as possible, and following the 3Rs (Reduce, reuse and recycle) to be zero waste, and so on.

The goal of reducing waste through proper resource management is a great step.
Unfortunately, with the recent circumstances, trucks of food have been wasted and overall food

The aims to reduce waste versus the action of discarding 4,000~10,000 pre-ordered bento boxes seems to be contradicting. With such an event, the organizer’s spokesperson has stepped out, apologized, and announced ways to effectively reduce future food waste or resource wastage.

The Press Release

Tokyo Olympic News
As Takaya Masanori has announced in the press release, while the food was being discarded, however, they were not wasted entirely. Much of the discarded food was upcycled into animal feed or turned into biomass for power generation. While the best is to reduce all food waste, it is a good next step, that the food was properly taken care of, instead of ending up in the landfills.

In addition, Takaya Masanori promised to optimized future food orders to reduce food waste and to keep up with the works of making the Tokyo Olympic the sustainable Olympic games.

Oftentimes events like The Olympic Games are often regarded as wasteful. With Tokyo Olympic’s goal to make the Games more sustainable, it is a great start. Hopefully, Tokyo Olympic Games and future events can be more sustainable and careful.

Author: Monica Chang
Director of Ethical Choice
I am passionate about finding amazing sustainable and eco-friendly products and sharing them with more people. Interesting in plastic-free, reduce waste, and DIY.