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Food waste research

Sustainability Victoria recently undertook research into the domestic waste stream across Victoria, providing the most comprehensive assessment yet of the food that Victorian households throw away each week.

The results found that Victorian households throw away 400,000 tonnes of food waste. While some of this is unavoidable food waste such as vegetable peelings and tea bags, much of it is avoidable – 64% of the food waste we throw away, a total of 250,000 tonnes per year is food waste that could have been avoided.

The research also found that to up to 25% of the waste that we throw away in our household garbage bins each week is made up of avoidable food waste.

That’s more than enough food waste to fill the Eureka Tower or to fill 156 Olympic sized swimming pools.

The most common foods thrown away (by weight) are bread and pastries, cooked meals, dairy and eggs and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Previous social research conducted by Sustainability Victoria in 2010 identified that throwing away food also costs Victorian households an estimated $4 billion each year. Each Victorian household throws away an estimated $39 of food each week, that’s more than $2200 every year (Sustainability Victoria, 2014).

Together these pieces of research provide insight into the type of food waste generated from Victorian households. This research and analysis has informed the development of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign and the food waste related figures published on this website.

    Love your food

    The average Victorian household throws out approximately $2,200 worth of food each year.