Use your brown waste bin for food waste.

Ireland is wasting over 1m meals a day

Food waste continues to be a significant problem in Ireland with no recent progress being made according to new figures.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shown that over 750,000 tonnes of food waste was generated in Ireland in 2022. Unfortunately there has been no significant change in the amount of food waste generated in the first three years of national statistics reporting from 2020-2022.

Over 70 per cent of food waste was generated by food & drink sector businesses and 30 per cent by households. This is food wasted during production, manufacturing and processing, distribution, at retail level, in restaurants and in our homes.

David Flynn, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability said: “As a nation, Ireland is wasting too much food – over one million meals a day - which is a significant resource and economic loss. With 70 per cent of food waste generated by food & drink businesses across the supply chain, there is a clear obligation on this sector to focus on preventing food waste. Signing up to the EPA’s Food Waste Charter is a positive statement that your business is serious about taking action to measure and reduce food waste.

“Unavoidable food waste should be segregated for recycling. Waste collectors are required to provide an organic waste bin so all businesses should now have a 3 bin system in place.”

Warren Phelan, Programme Manager, EPA Circular Economy Programme said: “Waste collectors are obliged to provide their household customers with a food waste collection service since January 2024. Greater coverage and rollout of the organic waste bin is key to segregating food waste and increasing recycling through composting and anaerobic digestion.

“Food waste costs households an average of €700 per year. Knowing the food you waste is the first step to prevent waste at home and the EPA’s Stop Food Waste programme provides lots of practical information to support householders,” he said.

Brown bins

The brown bin service accepts all types of food including raw and cooked meat and fish, plate scrapings, along with fruit and vegetable peelings. Other items that can go into the brown bin include food-soiled paper napkins, paper towels, greasy pizza boxes as well as grass clippings and light garden waste.

See my for more ways to prevent food waste.