Australians generated over 7 million tonnes in food waste across the entire food supply and consumption chain in 2016-17, according to a new report released by the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy.
The National Food Waste Baseline Report was prepared as part of a $50 million commitment by the Federal Government to cut food waste in half by 2030, including $1.37 million towards the development of a National Food Waste Strategy, released in November 2017.
The baseline report found that while Australians recycled 1.2 million tonnes of total food waste in 2016-17 and recovered 2.9 million tonnes through alternative uses, Australians disposed of 3.2 million tonnes of food waste.
65 per cent of the nation’s food waste comes from either household food scraps going to landfill or agricultural harvest-ready produce that was either not picked or ploughed in.
2.5 million tonnes (34 per cent) of food waste was generated by households; primary production and agricultural pursuits created 2.3 million tonnes (31 per cent); and 1.8 million tonnes (25 per cent) was created by the manufacturing sector.
Total food waste generation of 298 kilograms per capita constitutes the National Food Waste Baseline.
The National Food Waste Baseline project is the first detailed quantification of food waste in Australia at the country scale and across the full food supply and consumption chain, from primary production through to consumption and disposal or recovery.
The executive summary of the report is available here.