How Much Food Waste In Australia?

While a large portion of the world’s population goes to sleep hungry, industrialised nations such as Australia have acquired a horrible and unneeded problem: food waste. Globally, upwards of 870 million people suffer from chronic malnutrition, yet 1.3B tonnes of perfectly edible food are wasted annually. At Orange Bins, we are committed to providing reliable and efficient skip bin options to our clients. Here, we look at how much food waste in Australia occurs and some other related facts.

How Much Food Waste In Australia – The Causes

There are many reasons for food waste in Australia, such as:

  • The greater levels of food waste in prosperous nations stem from consumer behaviour and a lack of collaboration in the supply chain. FoodWise estimates that between 20 and 40 percent of fruits and vegetables are discarded before reaching shop shelves. This is owing to strict controls over the appearance of food, a consequence of customers’ unreasonable aesthetic expectations. Vegetables are commonly allowed to decay in the field before being immediately tilled back into the soil.
  • Despite the catastrophic overfishing of the world’s oceans, the fishing sector nevertheless plays a substantial role in waste. Fish stocks of some important seafood species have decreased below 10% of their 1950s levels. Despite that, up to sixty percent of all fish captured are thrown out due to the wrong size, species, or government quota schemes. It is estimated that the seafood sector in southeastern Australia produces about 20,000 tonnes of seafood product waste yearly.
  • Food labelling is an additional factor that contributes to waste. Due to confusion regarding sell-by dates and excessive labelling by manufacturers and retailers, usable food is sometimes tossed much before its actual expiration date.

Putting aside world hunger, the environmental effects of mass production of food and food waste are catastrophic.

How Much Food Waste in Australia?

According to a feasibility study by National Food Waste Strategy:

  • Food waste loses the economy approximately $36.6 billion annually or between $2,000 and $2,500 per household.
  • Australian households are mostly accountable for food waste (2.46M tonnes)
  • 70% of these 7.6 million tonnes of food lost annually in Australia are edible.
  • Approximately one of every five grocery bags is discarded by Australian families, amounting to about 312 kg per person.
  • 17.5 million tonnes of CO2-e are produced yearly by the disposal and production of food waste in Australia (except emissions related to exported food), similar to the annual emissions of the country’s highest emitting coal power plant.
  • Approximately 3% of Australia’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions are from food waste.
  • The quantity of water used to produce lost food is equivalent to the volume of water in 5 Sydney Harbours (2600 gigalitres).
  • If we combine the land area utilised to cultivate wasted food in the nation, it exceeds Victoria’s 25 million hectares.
  • 25 percent of the total water used in farming is utilised to produce useless food.
  • Did you realise tossing one hamburger is equivalent to taking a 90-minute shower?
  • Food waste accounts for 15 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions annually in Australia alone.

For more information on how much food waste is in Australia or our skip bin options, please call Orange Bins at 1300 767 006. You can also send us your queries via this Online Form, and we will contact you back soon.

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