Food waste 'costing people about €700 a year'

New research on food waste finds that 750,000 tonnes is wasted in Ireland each year - equating to around €700
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.02 30 May 2024

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Food waste 'costing people abo...

Food waste 'costing people about €700 a year'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.02 30 May 2024

Share this article

People are being urged to shop smart and buy what they need as food waste is costing them about €700 a year.

New research from finds that 750,000 tonnes of food is wasted in Ireland each year.

It found that over two-thirds of all householders currently use a brown bin, with 35% saying helping climate change is their main motivation.


New legislation introduced in January means everyone is entitled by law to a brown bin service.

Voice Ireland CEO Tad Kirakowski told Newstalk Breakfast people should be using their brown bin to reduce waste.

"We throw away about one-third of the food that we buy in Ireland," he said.

"So if you can imagine coming home from [doing] your shopping and you've got a six pack of eggs, you can take two of those out and throw them out.

"It's that kind of level and this is costing us about €700 a year.

"So I think one of things we can look at is reducing that food waste in the first instance".

A man throwing green hay into a brown bin, 17-9-20. A man throwing green hay into a brown bin, 17-9-20. Image: Skorzewiak / Alamy

Mr Kirakowski every household should now have access to a brown bin.

"We've seen this problem for quite a while and I suppose there has been a little bit of confusion," he said.

"The brown bin has been slowly coming into the public consciousness over the last few years.

"In the last year there's been a few changes where now all households in Ireland should have access to a brown bin".

'Using that food waste'

Mr Kirakowski dismissed complaints about the smell of brown bin contents.

"Whether you're putting a moldy piece of bread into a black bin, brown bin or any other coloured bin it's going to smell roughly the same," he said.

"It's just about segregating it out into a different place, you're still throwing that stuff away.

"The nature of that waste it's a bit heavier, it's a bit wetter - but for the most part we are using that waste anyway.

"This waste is going into the bin whether you're putting it into a brown bin or a black bin".

Mr Kirakowski said that people should plan their shopping to reduce food waste and retailers should clearly mark different packaging to help them.

What goes in the brown bin?

You can put all food waste except cooking oils into the brown bin - this includes dairy products, eggs, raw and cooked meat, fish and bones.

You can also put food-soiled paper napkins, paper towels and pizza boxes into the brown bin with your household food waste.

Compostable packaging and coffee cups can also go into the brown bin.

Garden waste such as grass clippings and leaves can also be put in the brown bin.

Listen back here:

Main image: Food waste in a recycling bin at home, 16-9-17. Image: Daisy-Daisy / Alamy

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