Friday 29 September 2023 

Australian households are throwing away around $1,500 in food waste each year and just a few simple changes can cut that dramatically and help the environment too, according to the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association (WMRR).

Today is the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Reduction.

“The average Australian household throws out the weight of an adult in food waste each year costing around $30 a week or $1,500 a year,” WMRR CEO Gayle Sloan said. 

“Not only is this bad for the household budget, especially in the current cost of living climate, it’s bad for the environment too.

“Much of this food waste ends up in landfill where it is left to emit methane, which is far more dangerous to the atmosphere than carbon. 

“And when you bin food waste, you’re also binning the water, fuels and other resources that go into getting it to market,” she said.  

“To avoid food waste, households should follow these few tips:

  • Meal plan so you only buy what you actually need;
  • Install an ‘eat it first’ container in the fridge for food nearing its used by date;
  • Have a leftover night instead of pizza night once a week.

“The most common items wasted are bread, ham, meats, salad, dairy and bananas.

“The main causes of food waste are not eating cooked meals, cooking too much, struggling to use leftovers, incorrect refrigeration and uneaten takeaway.

“While the waste and resource recovery sector welcomes governments moving toward kerbside food and green waste collection, where it can be returned for beneficial use such as compost for agriculture, the best outcome is avoidance of waste in the first place.

“A few small changes will save households some money and help the environment too as we strive to reach the 80% resource recovery target by 2030,” Ms Sloan said.