The Victorian Government has announced it will invest $500,000 in the Love Food Hate Waste business pilot program.
The program, originally designed for households, aims to help hospitality businesses reduce the environmental and financial impact of food waste – Victoria’s largest waste stream.
New research from Sustainability Victoria shows Victorian hospitality businesses produce an average of 5.6 tonnes of food waste every year, and 85 per cent of hospitality businesses consider this a significant issue. According to the research, over half this food waste is preventable.
The free three-step program will be available to all hospitality businesses in Victoria, providing practical resources to identify where food waste is occurring and how to make preventative changes.
The launch of the program builds on the Love Food Hate Waste’s ‘Love a List’ challenge, with 1,200 households participating in a program to reduce their household food waste.
The campaign is linked to a successful campaign of the same name developed in the United Kingdom by WRAP UK and delivered in New South Wales by the Environment Protection Authority.
The research also found that almost half (46 per cent) of Victorians are not aware of how much money they are throwing in the bin in the form of food waste, with nine out of every 10 feeling guilt about how much food they waste.
Men were reported to waste close to twice as much as women, throwing away $54 in food waste compared to $29.
Parents with children under the age of 16 years old were also highly likely to throw out food, with more than one third believing it is their children who are responsible for the waste.
More than three quarters of respondents to the research showed a strong desire to save money on groceries, with the average Victorian household throwing away more than $2000 a year worth of food.
The research was conducted by QDOS research, which surveyed 1001 Australians over the age of 18 years old.
The findings are part of a new campaign which has launched called Love Food Hate Waste, Love a List – which encouraged Victorians to write better shopping lists and stick to them to reduce food waste and save money.
The Victorian Government has also announced an additional $1 million funding for the Love Food Hate Waste campaign to reduce food waste through to 2021.
The research findings found that only 43 per cent of Victorians shopped with a list, with 46 per cent admitting they buy food they don’t need.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said that preventing food from being wasted is the best way to address the costly problem.
“We know from previous research that households that use a shopping list reduce their food waste compared to those who don’t. Through the Love Food Hate Waste, Love a List campaign, we’re giving Victorians the tools they need to reduce their food waste,” said Mr Krpan.
Comedian Cal Wilson hosted a documentary to highlight the issue of food waste, which has significant environmental impacts. She said she was genuinely shocked at how much food is thrown out.
“There’s so much we can do to reduce food waste that doesn’t include overeating, or giving leftovers as presents. A really great first step is making a shopping list and sticking to it,” said Ms Wilson
Sustainability Victoria recommends threes ways to shop smarter, which are planning the week’s meals, writing a list and eating everything that has been bought.