Waste truth hard to digest, ex­pert says

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

FEW think about it when eat­ing, cook­ing or even sell­ing food, but waste is be­com­ing a more preva­lent is­sue in the mod­ern age, ac­cord­ing to a waste and re­cy­cling ex­pert.

Jenny Camp­bell, the di­rec­tor of En­cy­cle Con­sul­tancy, said food waste hap­pened on ev­ery step of the sup­ply chain, from su­per­mar­kets and restau­rants down to in­di­vid­ual house­holds.

She said on av­er­age, food waste made up half of waste put into a house­hold bin, but that it did not be­have the way peo­ple might think once it hit land­fill.

“Food in land­fill does not gen­er­ally de­grade back into the soil like it might if we com­post it or the way that plant mat­ter breaks down nat­u­rally,” she said.

“In land­fills, there is no air so the chem­i­cal break­down re­ac­tions pro­duce methane gas, which is 25 times worse at warm­ing our planet than car­bon diox­ide.”

De­spite Aus­tralian soil be­ing no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to grow food in, Ms Camp­bell said at least a third of what was pro­duced was thrown away.

“Fruit and veg­eta­bles pro­duced for our su­per­mar­kets must meet strin­gent stan­dards of shape, size, colour and reg­u­lar­ity,” she said.

“Su­per­mar­kets, re­tail­ers and restau­rants try to be care­ful not to waste food once it en­ters their store as this im­pacts on their costs di­rectly. How­ever, the need to have a range of food avail­able at all times for con­sumers means that there is still a huge amount of food wasted.”

With the av­er­age house­hold throw­ing away $1000 worth of food ev­ery year, Ms Camp­bell said there were easy ways avail­able to re­duce food waste that weren’t be­ing u sed enough, in­clud­ing giv­ing ex­cess food to the needy.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d445910

En­cy­cle Con­sul­tancy di­rec­tor Jenny Camp­bell.

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