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Buying Loose Potatoes, Apples And Bananas Could Save NZ $36 Million A Year

Food waste is a global problem with approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food ending up rotting in landfills every year.

In New Zealand, Love Food Hate Waste NZ says, we throw away over 14,000 tonnes of bananas, potatoes and apples alone. A majority of which could have been eaten.

“Shockingly, fruit and vegetables are in the top three most wasted food items in New Zealand, costing us approximatley$36 million every year[1],” says Love Food Hate Waste NZ’s Marketing & Communications Manager, Juno Scott-Kelly.

“We know the cause of this waste comes down to food going off before it can be eaten and too much of it being purchased.”

Now in its fourth year, Food Waste Action Week 2024 is encouraging New Zealanders to ‘Choose What You’ll Use”, highlighting the benefits of buying loose fruit and vegetables and inspiring people to do this whenever they can so that less of it ends up in the bin.

“With grocery food prices 5.4 per cent higher than they were a year ago, food waste has become a top concern for Kiwis likening it to throwing away money, which is certainly the case,” Juno says.

“When we shop with a list and only buy what we need, we can not only save up to $1,500 a year but help reduce the climate-damaging greenhouse gases coming from rotting food in our landfills,” she adds.

In line with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, the government has committed to reducing food waste by 10% by 2030.

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Love Food Hate Waste NZ is one of several projects being funded by the Ministry for Environment to tackle food waste in New Zealand households.

“The devastating impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle on our food producers and the flow-on effect on food prices over the last year emphasises the urgent need for households to think about how they use their food, and what they consider to be waste,” adds Juno.

#FoodWasteActionWeek began in the UK in 2021 in support of the UN Sustainable Development goal 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030. This year’s theme will demonstrate how valuable food is in our lives, how it unites people and how using up everything we buy saves money, time and the planet.

"We have lots of exciting things happening during #foodwasteactionweek so keep an eye on the Love Food Hate Waste Facebook and Instagram pages over the week for great produce tips, recipes, and our quiz to help you discover how to only ‘Choose What You’ll Use”.

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