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Food waste facts and stats

Overview

In NSW, millions of dollars-worth of food is thrown away each month, while 100,000 people go hungry, a quarter of them children. We can make simple changes that can save time, save money, help others and stop edible food going to landfill.

If you would like to talk with someone about our facts and stats please contact our Public Affairs Unit by email PublicAffairsSection@epa.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 9995 6415.

Household food waste


In NSW, more than a third of the average household 'red lid' garbage bin is wasted food.

  • Every year, NSW households throw away more than 800,000 tonnes of edible food.
  • We're throwing away $2.5 billion – on average $1000 per household – every year.
  • We're wasting more than $231 million worth of drinks each year.
 

Business food waste


Commercial and industrial food waste sent to landfill in the Sydney metropolitan area has reduced from 400,000 tonnes in 2009 to 190,000 tonnes in 2014. This makes up 9% of the commercial and industrial waste stream.

NSW businesses donate 6,500 tonnes of food to charity each year. The NSW Government has a target to increase food donation by thousands of tonnes a year to meet its goal to divert 75% of all waste from landfill by 2021.

 

How much food do we buy?


Australians spend more than $106 billion on food and beverages each year – that's almost half (47%) of the nation's retail turnover. Supermarkets and grocery outlets secure the majority of sales (61%), while 14% is spent in cafés and restaurants and around 9% goes to take-away food outlets.

 

Simple actions make a difference


By making a few simple changes to the way we buy and handle food at home and at work we can cut this waste, eat well and make a big difference to the environment. Food businesses can make a big difference by making simple changes too – like food storage, preparation and portion sizes.

 

More information


 
 
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