The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. has today (Thursday the 20th of December 2018) encouraged homes and businesses to do what they can to avoid wasting food this Christmas.
Minister Bruton said, "Recent research has shown that for the first time ever, we will spend more than €1billion on groceries during the month of December. We know that every year, Irish homes and businesses throw out over 1 million tons of food and that this waste peaks at Christmas time. Our ambition is to halve this amount by 2030.
"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 and with business wasting twice as much 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 home, for example:
- Make a shopping list and check what items you already have in stock 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. Even in normal times 50% of salads, 25% of fruits and 20% of bread is thrown away.
- Use up your left overs
- Dispose of food waste correctly using the Brown Bin or home composting
Advice and more tips can be found on the EPA's website www.stopfoodwaste.ie
There are also a number of ways businesses can reduce waste, such as:
- Better stock management
- Better storage
- Using donation networks such as Food cloud
- 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 – www.foodwastecharter.ie
Notes to Editors
The EPA's Stop Food Waste programme aims to help homes and businesses reduce food waste with a number of practical tips and advice. The Department and the EPA have also sought to involve major supermarkets in efforts to reduce food waste and a number of major supermarkets have participated in the Department's Action Group on Food Waste – Aldi, BWG, Lidl, Musgrave and Tesco.
This has involved
- Signing up to the Food Waste Charter
- Promoting the Stop Food Waste campaign
- Implementing the collection and sharing of food waste data
All of these retailers have also signed up to the Food Donation Network Foodcloud.