Food waste in New Zealand

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Food waste in New Zealand is one of the many environmental issues that is being addressed by industry, individuals and government.

Statistics on exactly how much edible food is wasted is difficult to determine however non-edible food waste is regularly composted either through a collection service, with home composting or with a worm farm. A 2007 survey of households showed that 79% shop in a way to prevent food wastage, 63% carry out home composting and 10% have a worm farm.[1]

Some food waste is used to supply pig farms although pig safety concerns and the need for sorting and unpacking makes it less viable. The Biosecurity (Meat and Food Waste for Pigs) Regulations 2005, passed under the Biosecurity Act 1993, prohibits feeding pigs with uncooked meat or food that has been in contact with uncooked meat.[2] This is done in order to prevent the spread of diseases to pigs.

In Wellington the Kai to Compost scheme addresses food waste in the city. It was initially a trial scheme with government funding but is now a user pays scheme involving 50 businesses.[3]

Supermarkets do not sell foods that are past their use by date for legal reasons and perceived danger to health.[4] Dumpster diving, especially at supermarkets, is done to gather discarded food. The Christchurch branch of Food not Bombs use discarded food to feed people at film nights and markets.[5]

Food waste from ships and aircraft is incinerated as a requirement of the Biosecurity Act 1993 to prevent unwanted pests and diseases from entering New Zealand.

Food waste volumes[edit]

Food waste volumes are not always available since is can be included with organic waste or kitchen waste data. The larger city councils have better data than the smaller councils.

One of the most comprehensive nationwide studies on food waste volumes was released in 2013 [6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Household Sustainability Survey 2008". Ministry for the Environment. November 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  2. ^ "Biosecurity (Meat and Food Waste for Pigs) Regulations 2005 (SR 2005/150)". New Zealand Government. 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  3. ^ Environment New Zealand 2007. Wellington: Ministry for the Environment. December 2007. ISBN 978-0-478-30191-5. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  4. ^ Broach, Mark (2009-08-09). "Welcome to the waste land". Sunday Star Times. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  5. ^ Knight, Kim (2006-06-18). "Let's skip dinner". Sunday Star Times. 
  6. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]