Central Coast is one of four communities in New South Wales piloting a two-year program to reduce food waste in their area.
In an Australian first, communities across NSW will deliver two-year whole-of-city approaches to food waste prevention, as part of the state government’s $1 million Love Food Communities grants program.
Grants have been awarded to the City of Sydney, Central Coast Council, Midwaste and North East Waste.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said roughly 750,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by households and businesses in NSW each year.
“I want to see less food being wasted across our communities and these grants will support the recipients to do just that by changing behaviour and giving people and businesses the tools they need to make informed decisions,” Mr Kean said.
“Together, these four newly funded projects will reach 17,000 households and nearly 500 businesses. This is a huge undertaking and will be the first time we see a whole-of-community approach taken to prevent food waste in NSW.”
Participants are required to undertake a food waste survey to understand how much food they are throwing out, implement a succinct program to amend some of their food practices, and at the end of the program re-measure their food waste.
As well as households and businesses, each project will target at least one other sector where there is scope to have a huge impact in food waste reduction such as aged care, schools, pubs and clubs and food manufacturers.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the city will work with its Green Building tenants and Sustainable Destination partners – Hilton, Accor Hotels, Hyatt – to achieve at least 20 per cent food waste reduction within their business.
“Food waste in our residents’ red-lid bins makes up approximately 35 per cent of the city’s general waste – waste that’s bad for our wallets and bad for our environment,” Ms Clover Moore said.
“We’re pleased to be working with the state government to increase awareness about food waste across businesses, apartment dwellers and tertiary education campuses to deliver a clear reduction in waste and create a more sustainable city.”
Hilton Sydney Executive Chef Kruno Velican said organisations must have professional sensitivity and a comprehensive acceptance of how global businesses can impact the communities they serve and environment in which they operate.
“Hilton Sydney has completed two rounds of the ‘Your Business is Food’ program and has reduced its food waste by 50 per cent, saving almost $860,000 from 2016 –2018,” Mr Velican said.
“Hilton Sydney has also partnered with Addi Road to deliver the daily surplus breakfast food to the community organisation and its patrons. This not only reduces food waste sent to landfill but also ensures that perfectly good food is enjoyed by people facing food insecurity.”
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.
Young Victorians and parents with children are key contributors to the state’s food waste dilemma, according to new research commissioned by Sustainability Victoria.
The research findings showed that Generation Z throw out $115 of food waste weekly, compared to Baby Boomers who reported just over a tenth of that at $17 per week.
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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.