Food waste in Australia

More than one third of the average Australian household’s rubbish bin contains food waste. One in five bags of groceries ends up in the bin. That’s nearly $4,000 worth of food per household per year that can end up in landfill, where it breaks down and emits harmful greenhouse gases.

What’s the problem with food waste?

  • Approximately 40 per cent of all food grown in Australia is wasted
  • The average Australian household throws out 345kg of food each year
  • The annual cost of food waste is estimated at $20bn to the Australian economy
  • Household food waste that ends up in landfill emits harmful greenhouse gases

Food waste in landfill

Food thrown into your bin ends up in landfill, which breaks down in ways that can create greenhouse gases (including methane), which affect air quality and our health. When we waste food, we also waste the resources used to grow it (i.e. water, soils, energy) plus energy used to process, package and transport it from markets to homes.

What can we do?

  • Eat more parts of your vegetables, such as skins, stalks and leaves.

  • Use ageing vegetables that would otherwise go in the bin. Give them a second life by adding them to soups, frittatas or muffins. Add handfuls of chopped leftover vegetables to create delicious and colourful new meals or snacks. Plus, they freeze well and can be added to lunchboxes or taken to work.
  • Choose ‘ugly’ and ‘imperfect’ vegetables to prevent them going to landfill. They’re just as nutritious and often cheaper.
  • Plan your weekly meals and snacks. Aim to use hardier vegetables later in the week and use other fresh veggies earlier to help minimise vegetable waste

Top ten food waste tips


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