Date released: July 08, 2021
8 July 2021: As the country prepares for an outdoor summer of picnics and barbeques, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new campaign to encourage people to reduce their food waste, highlighting simple food storage steps to make their fresh food last longer. The EPA’s website has some great resources to support their Stretch Out and Save campaign and highlights the variety of ways in which different foods should be stored.
Findings from a 2020 EPA survey on food waste attitudes showed that around 40per cent of Irish people say they waste a lot of fruit and vegetables, and would like to make their fresh food last longer. Fresh fruit, vegetables and salads are Irish summer favourites - but also the foods we waste the most.
Properly storing fresh fruit and vegetables can help both the environment and your budget, according to Mary Frances Rochford, EPA Programme Manager:
“We are calling on everyone to support and share our Stretch Out and Save campaign on social media, and take a simple action to stop food waste. Irish households produce over 250,000 tonnes of food waste per year, at a cost of €700 per household. In addition, wasted food is a significant contributor to climate change – responsible for 8 to 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting food waste reduces greenhouse gas emissions and also provides real savings householders.”
The EPA’s Stop Food Waste top tips to stretch out and save your food this summer include:
Environmental scientist with the EPA Odile Le Bolloch explains:
“Summer is a time for enjoying lots of fresh produce and salads, but these are also the foods that we waste the most. With a few simple tips we can keep the food we buy that bit fresher for that bit longer. The Stop Food Waste A-Z of Foods is a useful online resource on how to best manage common foods at home to prevent food waste.”
As no two foods are the same, different produce will often have different storage requirements. Re-learning habits and implementing them as we put our shopping away will help to get the most out of groceries.
Find out how to store all of your favourite foods, learn about food date marking, and access resources to help reduce food waste in the home by visiting the EPA website.
Environmental scientist Odile Le Bolloch is available for interview.
Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office:
053-91 70770 (24 hours) and firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editor:
Stop Food Waste
Stop Food Waste is Ireland’s national food waste prevention programme. It provides simple tips to help householders manage food in the home and reduce waste through social media across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The user-friendly website provides great tools and information to help with making the most of food. The EPA is calling on householders to follow the ‘Stretch Out and Save’ campaign on social media and to take actions to stop food waste, and share their own top tips for keeping food fresher for longer.
Results presented are from an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults ages 16+ on attitudes towards food waste and food management behaviours at home. The survey was carried out between 4th and 14th September 2020 by Behaviour & Attitudes Limited, Ireland's largest independent market research company. Topics covered included concerns about food waste, managing food at home, impact of Covid lockdown restrictions and food dates.
The EPA compiles national data on waste generation and treatment in Ireland through direct survey of industry and waste facilities, and in cooperation with other public authorities. Current estimates indicate that Ireland generated approximately 1.05 million tonnes of food waste in 2018. About half of this came from the processing and manufacturing sector, with the remainder arising from households (252,500 tonnes per year) and the commercial sector including restaurants/food service and retail/distribution (203,300 tonnes per year). National statistics for individual waste streams are on the EPA website.