Food waste in Brisbane

Food waste is the largest volume of avoidable material that goes into Brisbane landfill every year, representing 26% of the average rubbish bin contents from Brisbane homes. Research shows that about one in five bags of food that we buy is being wasted, adding around $2,200 to $3,800 of additional cost per household every year.

Brisbane City Council is committed to a clean, green city with less landfill. Council has joined the international Love Food Hate Waste movement to help you avoid and reduce the amount of food thrown away.

Simple changes at home can make a big difference to your wallet and our environment. Read our practical tips to learn how to cut down you food waste and make the most of the food you buy.

Food waste facts

Research shows that most people care about the amount of food they waste, but significantly underestimate how much food goes into their bin. 

Did you know that:

  • on average, each Brisbane household sends more than 66 kilograms of food to landfill each year. This adds up to approximately 80,000 tonnes of food waste each year in Brisbane
  • food waste is costing most households approximately $40 to $70 per week
  • about 23% of people throw away unused fruit and vegetables and 43% throw away produce that is wilted or blemished
  • approximately 45% of people waste food because they leave it in the fridge or freezer too long and almost half of leftovers in fridges are thrown away without being eaten at all
  • around 20% of people report wasting food because they didn't finish their meal. Meal portions and planning can help avoid excess food.

Every time we waste food, we are also wasting the resources used to get it to our plates (i.e. water, energy, transport).

Why we waste food

Food waste is usually unintentional, resulting from busy lives and not using our food wisely.

Unplanned takeway meals, buying and cooking too much, and a lack of time are some of the most common things that lead to food waste.

Did you know that:

  • 20% of people report not finishing their meals and throwing the food away
  • 32% of people are unsure about the amount of food needed for a meal portion
  • 48% of people opt to buy more food than they need, rather than risk not having enough

The good news is that we can all avoid food waste with easy, practical changes to the way we plan, prepare, store and dispose of food and use leftovers.

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Last updated:27 August 2019
Topics: waste