As you sit at home after your Christmas lunch and/or dinner today, think about how much of the food ended up in the bin.
We all expect a fair bit of food waste on Christmas Day, but it is something that happens throughout the year and it is costing Australians a fortune.
According to Rabobank’s 2019 Food Waste Report, Australians spent a total of $10.1 billion in 2019 on food that ended up in our bins, rather than in our stomachs, up from $8.9 billion in 2018.
The report highlights that Aussies are now wasting an average of 13 per cent of their weekly grocery spend, equating to $1026 each year. Baby boomers, however, are faring much better in the food waste stakes, wasting on average $498 each year, up $17 on the total from 2018.
With food waste on the rise across all states and all generations, Australia as a nation is losing the battle against food waste with significant negative effects on not only our hip pockets but also our planet.
Rabobank’s Glenn Wealands said that food waste was one of the most significant challenges facing the country.
“According to the Food Sustainability Index, developed by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, Australia is the fourth highest food waster in the world,” Mr Wealands said.
“We know from this research that more than three-quarters of us care about reducing food waste and are annoyed by it. However, it is alarming that less than three out of 10 of us recognise the impact our food waste has on the environment,” Mr Wealands added.
Most Aussies don’t link the impact of their own household waste to bigger picture issues, with 54 per cent believing that it contributes to landfill, yet only four in 10 linking it to pollution and one-third recognising that it increases CO2 emissions.
Less than a third of Australians connect the impact of their waste with climate change, water shortages and animals becoming extinct.
Consistent with previous years, the top reasons for household waste include food not being prepared properly, not knowing what to do with leftovers, buying too much and changing plans.
What advice would you give to younger generations to help them reduce the level of food waste in Australia? Was there much food waste at your Christmas lunch or dinner this year?
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