Food waste in New Zealand

Help reduce the 122,547 tonnes of food waste Kiwis throw out every year.

Infographic with statistics about food waste in New Zealand

Food waste in NZ - the numbers

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Why we need to reduce food waste at home

On average, food waste makes up over a third of kerbside rubbish collected in the region. That’s a lot of money – about $599 for each household every year.

National campaign and research

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign is being run by Councils nationwide and is based on research that included surveying 1,365 New Zealanders, examining the contents of 1,402 household rubbish bins and giving 100 families diaries to record food disposal for a week. Findings include:

  • It is estimated Kiwis spend $872 million a year on food that then gets thrown away uneaten.
  • We throw away over 122,547 tonnes of food a year – enough to feed around 262,917 people, or half the population of the Wellington region for 12 months.
  • Bread, fruit and vegies, and meal leftovers are the most commonly discarded foods. The equivalent of 20 million loaves of bread is thrown away uneaten every year.
  • The average household sends around 79 kilograms of edible food to landfills every year.
  • In Wellington, avoidable food waste costs the average household nearly $599 a year, totalling nearly $106 million for the region as a whole.

Organic waste collections

Through our regional waste plan we have committed to reducing waste by a third over the next ten years. The waste plan includes looking at options for reducing food waste to landfill.

The Long Term Plan 2018-2028 contains a commitment to investigate options for diverting food waste from landfill, and this will include food waste collection as part of a wider trial.

You can find out ways to reduce your food waste at home at Love Food Hate Waste.