Homes and businesses encouraged to reduce food waste this Christmas

Homes and businesses have been encouraged to consider a number of practical ways to reduce the amount of food they waste.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, has today (Thursday, December 20) outlined: “Recent research has shown that for the first time ever, we will spend more than €1 billion on groceries during the month of December.”

A statement from the minister’s department outlined that even in normal times of the year, 50% of salads, 25% of fruits and 20% of bread is thrown out.

Food waste costs Irish households nearly €1 billion every year – approximately €700 could be saved by every family in Ireland if they reduced their food waste.

“We know that every year, Irish homes and businesses throw out over 1 million tonnes of food and that this waste peaks at Christmas time. Our ambition is to halve this amount by 2030.”

Some ways of reducing food waste include:
  • Make a shopping list and check what items you already have before leaving the house;
  • Plan your meals and use your freezer to keep food for later use;
  • Don’t overstock on basics – the shops re-open very quickly after Christmas;
  • Use up your leftovers;
  • Dispose of food waste correctly using the brown bin or home composting.

Continuing, Bruton added: “With businesses wasting twice as much food as households, the scope for savings is enormous. There are a number of practical ways that people can reduce the amount of food they waste in their homes.”

There are also a number of ways businesses can reduce food waste, including:
  • Better stock management;
  • Better storage;
  • Using donation networks such as FoodCloud;
  • Tracking waste with the intention of reducing losses.

Advice and more tips can be found on the EPA’s website for preventing food waste in business: