In Food waste

How to Reduce Food Waste

Australians waste an average 298kgs of food per capita every year and a whopping 87% of household food waste goes to landfill. If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China (see references 1 to 3 below).

Ronni Kahn with the 298kgs of food every Australian wastes on average each year.

Leading Australian food rescue organisation OzHarvest Founder and CEO Ronni Kahn AO says: “Cutting back on our individual food waste is the single most powerful way we can take direct action against climate change. It’s an easy win, both for your pocket and the planet”.

Research shows an average of 1 in 5 shopping bags end up in Australian household bins!

Follow these 10 simple food-saving tips:

  1. Plan your meals and check your fridge before shopping.
  2. Write a shopping list and stick to it!
  3. Use up food from your freezer before buying more.
  4. Use storage containers and compostable freezer bags and resealable bags for leftovers.
  5. Keep your fridge at 4 degrees C or below.
  6. Let people serve themselves to reduce waste.
  7. Get leftovers into the fridge as soon as you can.
  8. Move food that needs eating to the front of the fridge and eat it first!
  9. Use your senses as well as use-by labels to save good food.
  10. Use BioBags and kitchen caddies to collect food scraps for composting and recycling in council FOGO bins.

Image: OzHarvest

When we waste food, we also waste the natural resources used for growing, processing, packaging, transporting and marketing that food, and greenhouse gas emissions are increased for no value.

There’s a significant opportunity to divert organic waste from landfill to compost to return vital nutrients to Australian soil. To enable this, local councils around Australia need to add a third bin for food organics and garden organics (FOGO) waste collection to residential kerbside collection services.

Check out our Let’s Go FOGO campaign to see how you can help.


1. Arcadis. (2019). ’National Food Waste Baseline’.

2. Australian Government. (2018). ’National Waste Report 2018’.

3. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2013). ‘Food Wastage Footprint – Impacts On Natural Resources’.