News | 22 June 2023
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Think twice before throwing food in the bin

Food waste accounts for a staggering 409,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in New Zealand annually. The average Wellingtonian throws out 3.2kg of food per week, which adds up to 30,000 tonnes of food scraps going to landfill each year, the same weight as 62 jumbo jets!

Mass of wasted thrown out food.
Image from Love Food Hate Waste.

This is because organic waste going to landfill produces methane, which makes a massive contribution to climate change, many times more than carbon dioxide. 

In addition to rotting, there are other emissions related to production, distribution, and transportation of food that goes to waste when food ends up in landfill. 

To put it in a local context, close to 60 percent of Wellington’s household waste to landfill is organic! And on average, Wellingtonians spend almost $600 a year per household on uneaten food that goes to landfill. 

NZ’s top 10 most wasted foods:

1. Bread 
2. Leftovers 
3. Oranges 
4. Apples 
5. Bananas 
6. Potatoes 
7. Chicken 
8. Rice 
9. Lettuce 
10. Beef 

Based on this, there is a significant potential to curb our environmental footprint (and save money and resources) from our homes. 

Research shows that consumer decisions and habits rank high when it comes to food waste. In other words, each one of us can make a difference by being more conscious about our food waste.