250,000 tonnes of food waste are generated annually by commercial food businesses such as restaurants, shops and workplace canteens
Ireland generates over one million tonnes of food waste annually and will need to take a new perspective on the value of food as the country works towards meeting our EU and sustainable development commitments to halve food waste by 2030.
New EPA-funded research indicates that 250,000 tonnes of food waste are generated annually by commercial food businesses such as restaurants, shops and workplace canteens. The research investigated the volumes, types and associated cost of food waste arisings in these businesses. It found that much of this waste is avoidable and estimates the value of food waste for the Irish hospitality sector alone at over €300 million.
Laura Burke, Director General, Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) said: “It takes a lot of resources to put food on our tables. Growing, processing and transporting food all use large amounts of energy and materials. When food is wasted, these resources are wasted too – which impacts on climate change, our local environment and business costs. To meet this environmental and financial challenge, food businesses need to start measuring the food being discarded, and then take action to reduce avoidable wastage.
"Food waste is a priority waste stream for the EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme. Food businesses can show their commitment to reducing food waste by signing up to “The Food Waste Charter” and join other businesses and industry leaders working together to reduce food waste. Further information on food waste in commercial sectors and the Food Waste Charter can be found here.