Don't let food go to waste

The rubbish bin is no place for food

Learn how you can waste less food
Read our tips

Food waste is a major issue in New Zealand, although you may not realise it. Every time we throw away food – our bread crusts or last night’s leftovers – it adds up. Love Food Hate Waste wants to change this.

In fact, Kiwi households throw waste 86kgs of edible food each year. How do we know how much Kiwis throw away? We went through your rubbish.

We gathered bags that were left out on the street for rubbish collection, opened them and separated out the food. We then measured it to get a picture of what Kiwis throw out. It was a gross but important thing to do. Only by realising what a problem food waste is, can we begin to solve it.

Did you know...

Food is wasted at all stages of the supply chain, from what is produced on farms and in factories to the excess that supermarkets throw out. However, the largest proportion of food wasted in New Zealand comes from households.

New Zealand homes throw away 157,398 tonnes of food per year, all of which could have been eaten. This is enough food to feed the whole of Dunedin for just under three years! Wasting this food costs the average household $644 a year.

Environmental Impact

Food waste ends up in the tip, along with the rest of our rubbish. When food decomposes without oxygen in the landfill it releases methane which is a harmful greenhouse gas.

Did You Know...?

When we waste food, we are also wasting all of the resources that went into making it.

New Zealand’s yearly food waste produces 409,234 tonnes of carbon emissions. To offset this we would need to take 150,453 cars off the road for one year or plant 163,693 trees.

Why Is It Wasted?

There are two main reasons why we throw away food: we don’t eat our leftovers and some food goes bad because it is not stored properly. The foods we waste the most are bread, leftovers, citrus, apples, chicken and bananas.

Did You Know...?

Nationally we waste $1.17 billion a year on food that we buy and throw away uneaten.

The Good News!

86% of Kiwis believe wasting food is wrong. It is easy to make small but effective changes to reduce the amount of food that you waste. Learn how here.


Every time you throw away food you’re throwing away money. Love your food to reduce your waste and save money and the environment.

How to reduce your waste