• Zero Waste Alliance Ireland

Christmas & Your Food Waste

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

food waste scandal

We encourage homes and businesses to do what they can to avoid wasting food this Christmas. The Foodwaste reduction effort begins long before the time you purchase.

How big an issue is Foodwaste?

Recent research revealed 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 Government’s ambition is to halve this amount by 2030. We think we can do much better, much sooner, if we buy with food waste reduction in our minds.

The EPA puts food waste costs to Irish households at 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.

What can we do now?

Here’s some practical ways that people can reduce the amount of food they waste in their home . It starts with prevention. What you don’t stock you won’t waste. So wise buys are a priority. Your list is your secret weapon.

It’s Christmas, so everyone has a list and maybe, check it twice, just like Santa and be sure you will need and use all that you buy.

Christmas Food Waste is avoidable by planning ahead.

  1. Plan your meals (how many portions, how often, re-use of ingredients)

  2. Make a shopping list and check what items you already have in stock, including in the Freezer, before leaving the house

  3. Don’t overstock on basics or fresh produce – 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.

  4. SPECIAL OFFER traps: Beware of buying too much fresh produce due to special offers. That’s ok for non-perishables which can be stored.

  5. Plan to use up your leftovers as follow up snacks or supper bites

  6. Use your freezer to keep food for later use, especially cooked stuff

  7. Prepare space in your Composter for the prep waste and raw compostible items.

  8. If you have unavoidable Food Waste, dispose of it correctly using the Brown Bin.

Zero Waste guided shopping means that reducing your food waste starts before you ever go to the shops!

Food Businesses can save big.

It’s not just about consumers. There are also a number of ways businesses, like restaurants and hotels can reduce waste, such as:

  1. Planned purchasing/procurement with a view to surplus avoidance

  2. Better stock management

  3. Better forecasting and special offers to ensure surplus is absorbed before due dates

  4. Better storage and prevention of food spoiling

  5. Using donation networks such as Food cloud, with early notice

  6. Tracking all waste with the intention of reducing losses

  7. Even if you create unavoidable food waste, installing a Food Waste Digester onsite will put the compost it produces to good use as a soil enricher or Biomass fuel. A good example is the Aerobic Food Waste Digester range from Food2Fuel ( http://zerowasteireland.com/home-2/food2fuel-food-waste-digester/food-waste-solution-for-hotels/

  8. These digesters turn FoodWaste into Compost in 24 hours. They start at 200 kg/ day and go to 10 Tonnes / day capacity. So there is a model to suit any business.

200 kg/day Aerobic Food Waste Digester

Get advice and tips on the EPA’s website for preventing food waste in business – www.foodwastecharter.ie

By planning ahead and changing small things in our shopping habits, we can cut our food waste and save money at the same time.
Merry Christmas to all #ZeroWasters and Bon Appetit !
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