Fast Facts on Food Waste
The following data was used by Do Something! to calculate the new national food waste figure of $8 billion:
To better understand community knowledge, attitudes and behaviours about household food waste, 1,200 NSW households were surveyed as part of the ‘Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study’. This NSW Government study was the most comprehensive analysis of community knowledge, attitudes and behaviours yet conducted in Australia about food waste.
As a result of this study, NSW Government stats from ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ estimate that the average NSW household throws out $1,036 of food every year.
Do Something! found that this $1,036 figure was similar to unpublished food waste research from a Government department in another state.
In NSW, food waste also makes up to 38% of the total rubbish in household garbage bins. Garbage bin analysis in other states reveals a similar percentage of food waste in household garbage bins (up to 41%).
Given the national consistency that we found on food waste levels across Australia, we arrived at the $8 billion figure by extrapolation. The $1,036 figure was multiplied by the number of households across Australia. The recently released ABS 2011 Census stats says there were 7,760,320 populated households.
7,760,320 populated households multiplied by $1,036 is $8.04 billion.
The following Government data was used to calculate the 4 million tonnes of food waste figure:
The National Waste Report 2010 by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts estimated that 35% of municipal waste is food (equivalent to 2.675 million tonnes of household food waste).
The National Waste Report also estimates that 21.5% of commercial and industrial waste is food. This is equivalent to 1.388 million tonnes.
Adding these figures together, Australia discards an estimated 4.06 million tonnes of food every year.