Irish households throw away one third of food every week

Irish households must become more active in preventing food waste and managing their food waste appropriately, according to a new campaign run by the three Regional Waste Management Offices.

The campaign, which will run across radio, online, and in cinemas, asks householders in Ireland to consider how they can reduce their food waste and to make use of the brown bin which has been phased in across the country on a progressive basis since 2013.

The brown bin is ideal for items such as fruit/vegetable peelings, plate leftovers, tea bags/coffee grounds, and inedible bread. Some operators also accept light garden waste.

Once collected, brown bin material is delivered from homes once a fortnight to a dedicated composting plant where it is specially treated and turned into high quality compost. Ensuring only the right materials go in your brown bin prevents contamination and results in high quality compost for use across Ireland.

Local Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Dennis Naughten, said: “Food waste is a major national and global problem and we have an environmental and moral obligation to tackle this epidemic now.

“According to the World Health Organisation each year an estimated one third of all food produced – 1.3 billion tonnes worth approximately $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices. This waste continues as one billion people go undernourished and another one billion go hungry,” he added.

The Minister recently announced a series of measures he is taking to boost Ireland’s response to the problem of wasted food, including setting up an Action Group on Wasted Food in the Supply Chain. The group brings together the major national retailers to agree actions to reduce food waste.

For more information on food waste reduction, composting, and how best to use your brown bin, see www.emwr.ie, www.brownbin.ie or local authority websites.

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