Article 18/05/2017 - -

Fighting food and drink waste

Lauren Rutter By Lauren Rutter

The ABC’s War On Waste blew our minds.

In episode one, Craig Reucassel fed the nation a trolley-load of statistics that were, at times, a little difficult to swallow. He tackled food waste – from the produce that never makes it off the farms, to the near-impossible cosmetic standards set by supermarkets, and right to the chock-a-block bins in our family homes.

If you think you can stomach it, here are a few bite-sized stats that really made our jaws drop:

  • Our nation produces enough food waste per year to fill the MCG 6 times over
  • The average Aussie family disposes of around $3500 worth of food each year
  • When food waste goes to landfill, it creates greenhouse gases 25 times more potent than car fumes

Of course, let’s not forget, the war on waste isn’t simply about the food we throw away. Beverage container pollution is a hot topic for state governments, and rightly so, with a staggering 8 billion drink containers being littered or landfilled every year.

Changing these stats starts with changing our behaviours and it all ties back to the 3 Rs we learned in primary school: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Let’s begin by saying that grandma was right: our eyes really are bigger than our bellies. One in every five of our grocery bags goes to landfill. Let’s try a little harder to only buy what we need. – And yes, that may involve having to plan ahead, but hey, who doesn’t love writing a list and ticking off each item as you pop it in the trolley. Avoiding those unnecessary purchases is a win for your hip-pocket and a high-five for good ol’ Planet Earth.

Next, have a think about the items you are regularly throwing away. Can any of these be replaced with something reusable? – Yes, those are looks of judgement when your friends climb into your car and almost drown in the sea of empty plastic water bottles.

Finally, if the waste is unavoidable, then recycle everything you possibly can, whether it be through designated facilities or repurposed at home. And if it’s beverage containers (I’m looking at you, water-bottle guy), the Cash for Containers scheme will soon clean out your car and have you earning pocket-money again.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but like a giant bowl of nachos at the pub, it needs to be tackled one small piece at a time.

If you would like to know more about the War On Waste and find some practical tips on how to reduce waste at home and on-the-go, hop on over to

Lauren Rutter By Lauren Rutter