Environmental Impact

Home / About Us / Environmental Impact


Australians are throwing away food worth $5.2 billion a year.

  • One in three kilograms of food produced around the country is wasted, whilst at the same time two million Australians are going to bed hungry every year.
  • An estimated 20% to 40% of fruit and vegetables are  rejected even before they reach the shops – mostly because they do not match the supermarkets’  cosmetic standards.
  • Dumping a kilo of beef wastes the 50,000 litres of water it took to produce that meat, throwing out a kilo of white rice will waste 2,385 litres, and wasting a kilo of potatoes costs 500 litres of water.

Landfill and Environmental Impact in Australia

  • 3.28 million tonnes of food is driven to landfill in Australia every year
  • 47% of municipal waste to landfill is food and green waste
  • Food waste in Australian landfills is the second largest source of methane
  • 10% of rich countries’ greenhouse gas emissions come from growing food that is never eaten

It is estimated that nationally, through redistribution, Foodbank each year saves:

  • 19,000 cubic metres of landfill
  • 33 million kg of carbon dioxide emissions
  • 1.2 million litres of water
  • 50 million MJ energy saving
  • 28 million kgs of food

To donate, to help stop food waste  in Australia click here

Referenced from:

 -The Australian Institute ‘What a waste – An Analysis of household expenditure on food’ Nov 2009 D. Baker, J. Fear, R. Denniss-www.foodwise.com.au

-Mission Australia, Anglicare, Australian Council of Social Service, Social Policy Research Centre and the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Left Out and Missing Out: Voices from the Margins (2007) and Left Out and Missing Out: Disability and Disadvantage (2007)

-VIC Health, Healthy Eating – Food Security Investment Plan 2005 – 2010 (August 2005) available at www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ResourceCentre/PublicationsandResources/healthy%20eating/VicHealth%20Food%20Insecurity%20Investment%20paper.ashx


– Smith, B. (2005), cited in Edwards, F. and Mercer, D. (2007), “Gleaning from Gluttony: An Australian Youth Subculture Confronts the Ethics of Waste”, Australian Geographer, vol. 38, no. 3: 279-96, p280

– EcoRecycle Victoria (2005), Information Sheet 2 – Waste Facts, last modified March 2005, from www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/www/html/2039-waste-and-recycling-information-sheets.asp

Foodbank NSW Foodbank QLD Foodbank VIC Foodbank SA Foodbank NT Foodbank WA Foodbank TAS Foodbank AUS