New Zealand's food waste: Estimating the tonnes, value, calories and resources wasted

Christian John Reynolds, Miranda Mirosa and Brent Clothier - Published: 23 Feb 2016

MDPI used macro-economic data and aggregated waste data to estimate that, in 2011, New Zealand households generated over 224,000 tonnes of food waste, and New Zealand industry generated over 103,000 tonnes of food waste. We split New Zealand’s food waste into 14 food-waste categories and found that 7% is related to “fresh” produce, and 93% “processed” food waste. The value of New Zealand’s food waste in 2011 is estimated to be NZ $568 million, or $131 per person. Furthermore, New Zealand’s food waste represents 163  109 calories in total, and avoidable food waste would be able to feed between 50,000 and 80,000 people a year. New Zealand food waste embodies 4.2  106 tonnes of CO2-e, 4.7  109 m3 of water, and 29  103 TJ of energy. Nonetheless, we find that, compared to other nations, New Zealanders waste less food per capita by weight, value and calorie.

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