Australians are wasting $5.2 billion worth of food each year.
Household bins contain over 5kgs of food waste
Studies in metropolitan Sydney showed that the average household bin contains 11kg of garbage, with 5.8 kgs of that compostable waste. 95% of this compostable matter was food waste.
We’re not alone
Food waste is a problem in many countries. In the UK, the Waste Resources and Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that a third of the food bought is thrown out. If that food waste was eradicated, it would be equivalent to taking one in five cars off the road.
Australian households bin $616 of food per annum
Research by The Australia Institute shows that Australians throw away about $5.2 billion worth of food every year. This includes $1.1 billion of fruit and vegetables. The Institute estimates that the average Australian household throws away $616 worth of food per annum.
We waste close to 3 million tonnes of food a year
Australians waste close to 3 million tonnes of food per annum. That’s equivalent to 136 kilos per person per annum (2006-7 figures from Sustainability Victoria show that Victorians alone waste 700,000 tonnes of food waste per annum).
Food waste in landfill generates methane
When food rots in landfill, it gives off a greenhouse gas called methane. This methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than the carbon pollution that comes out of your car exhaust.
Greenhouse gases are released throughout food production
When you throw out food, what you see in the bin is not the only waste. You’re also throwing away the massive amount of resources it took to get that food all the way from the ‘paddock to your plate.’ That includes all elements of production, processing, storage, refrigeration, transportation and cooking.
Food produces 11.4 million tonnes of emissions a year
Using ‘paddock to plate’ calculations, WRAP in the UK estimate that one ton of food waste generates 3.8 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. Using the same figures, food waste in Australia is responsible for 11.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions every year.
A kilo of beef waste costs 50,000 litres of water
Wasting food also wastes the water that went into its production. According to CSIRO data, dumping a kilo of beef wastes the 50,000 litres of water it took to produce that meat. Throwing out a kilo of white rice will waste 1,550 litres.
Supermarkets waste significant quantities of food
Tens of millions of kilograms of safe edible fresh food and groceries are discarded every year. This is due to changed labelling regulations, end of season excess stock, production line changeover items, out-dated packaging, discontinued product, as well as slight label or weight inaccuracies.
This information was provided by FoodWise.com.au.