If you haven’t been living under a rock, you would have certainly noticed the extensive media coverage of the major Australian supermarkets moving away from the use of plastic bags in Victoria. The war on plastic has been active for quite some time. Over the last 9 years, the removal of single use plastic bags has taken effect across most states, with Victoria officially ‘banning the bag’ in July 2018.
Plastic has been an environmental focal point, and for good reason.
Australian’s were using 5.66 billion bags per year; or 30,700 tonnes of plastic; or 230 bags per person. The recycle rate on these bags was around just 10%. The stats are alarming, and it is a major issue that must continue to be a focus in order to go completely plastic packaging free. While there is still a long way to go, as a collective consumer nation, we are taking the necessary steps with recent movements away from single use, and an emphasis on reuse.
However, there is another burning issue that garners little media attention and is a problem that is gradually getting worse – food waste.
This is a problem that doesn’t possess the same dramatic imagery of ocean animals getting caught in plastic, or intimidating landfill. It’s the problem that you don’t see, as it takes place behind closed doors away from the consumer eye. But the stats are just as alarming.
• Over 5 million tonnes of food end up as landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.
• One in five shopping bags end up in the bin. That’s $3,800 worth of groceries per household each year.
• 35% of the average household bin is food waste.
• The Australian Government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year. (OzHarvest)
If we are so focused on recycling and reuse, why is it that we continue to dispose of perfectly good food while 710,000 Australians experience food insecurity each month? (Foodbank Hunger Report, 2018)
In our next ‘War On Food Waste’ piece, we outline the culprits, spotlight the source of problem, and what Viking is doing to help this global issue