About 130,000 meals pre-ordered for Tokyo Olympic volunteers and staff members were discarded in the one month through Aug. 3, the games' organizing committee said Friday.
The total accounts for roughly a quarter of all the food prepared during the period at 20 Olympic venues that the committee had looked into, it said. The Olympics, which ended Aug. 8, took place at 42 venues in and out of the Japanese capital.
The investigation came after the organizing body was criticized for throwing away about 4,000 of the 10,000 pre-ordered bento boxes that were to be provided to volunteers on the day of the opening ceremony on July 23.
After making efforts to reduce the disposal rate, it fell to 15 percent between July 30 and Aug. 6, according to the committee of the Olympics and Paralympics, which had promised to do more to minimize food loss.
At the closing ceremony of the Olympics at the National Stadium, about 200 of the 6,000 pre-ordered meals were wasted, it said, adding that the number, against the same volume prepared, declined to 100 at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on Tuesday.
"Depending on the venue, there are days when there is almost no surplus food, and there is a tendency for improvement," said Masanori Takaya, a spokesman for the committee. "It's difficult to make it completely zero, but we will continue to work on managing order volume."
Ranging from cardboard beds in the athletes' village to medals forged from recycled metal, the Tokyo Games aim to be the most environmentally friendly ever.