Australians celebrate the summer holidays in many ways, which typically includes a lot of food, drinks and waste. Research by KitchenAid revealed that Australians dispose of about 25% of food in the bin at this time of year.
Why is food waste a problem?
Food waste costs the Australian economy an estimated $20 billion every year. Producing and distributing food also puts a strain on resources such as land, water, energy and fuel.
When sent to landfill, food waste can impact the environment through greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that 7.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent will be generated from food waste disposed over the life of its decay. Food waste can cause issues with odour, leaching, and is a potential source for disease.
There is also a social impact from wasted food fit for consumption that could be used to relieve food insecurity instead.
How is food wasted?
According to research conducted by the NSW Government, the main reasons for food waste are:
Too much food is prepared
Not planning before grocery shopping
Buying takeout instead preparing meals at home
Good food thrown away before expiry
Not knowing how to use leftovers
Top tips for reducing food waste during the holidays:
Make or buy just enough food
Plan for a potluck gathering
Use smaller plates to encourage reasonable portions
Use reusable tableware or containers to store leftovers
When giving food as a gift, avoid perishable items
If food waste is unavoidable, save it from landfill by:
Getting creative with leftover recipes
Encouraging friends and family to take leftovers home with them
Creating your own compost heap for recycling food and garden waste
Donating excess food to charity
Using the organics bin if provided in your area
How can businesses deal with food waste
Cleanaway offers comprehensive food waste management solutions to businesses of all sizes. Because food waste is heavy, it weighs down the bin and increases the cost of general waste. By diverting food waste into an organics recycling service, businesses can achieve their sustainability goals while positively impacting the economic bottom line.
A waste audit can help businesses improve organic waste disposal processes, and identify opportunities for better stock management practices.
Read more about how we help businesses deliver on the triple bottom line of sustainability here.