Ours to Protect

Ep 45 - Food Waste

Ep 45 - Food Waste
Credit: RAJIBUL93/Pixabay

In this week's episode of Ours to Protect, Orla explores effective ways to reduce food waste with Odille Le Bulloch, the Food Waste Protection team lead at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Did You Know?

Around 25% of food purchased by households in Ireland is not consumed and subsequently becomes waste. This results in a financial loss of nearly €700 per average Irish household annually and significantly contributes to environmental degradation.

Odille emphasises the importance of buying only what you need and improving food storage methods to keep it fresh longer.  Such measures can significantly minimise the volume of food discarded.


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The scale of food waste in Ireland

Each year, Ireland discards approximately 750,000 tonnes of food. This waste not only impacts the environment due to disposal processes but also squanders the energy and resources expended in food production.


Fresh fruits and vegetables rank as the most frequently wasted items, often due to over-purchasing, especially after exercise when people have high intentions to eat healthily.

A nationally representative survey also shows that people commonly throw away leftovers and bread.

Often, the waste results from high initial aspirations for a healthy diet that diminish over the week, leading to spoilage of unused food.

Producing, processing, and transporting food uses significant amounts of land, water, and energy. When food goes to waste, these resources are spent for no gain, increasing the environmental strain.

Effective strategies to reduce food waste


Odille recommends practical strategies to minimise food waste:

  • Planning: Shop with a plan to avoid buying more than needed.
  • Utilization of frozen goods: Choose frozen fruits and vegetables to decrease the chance of spoilage.
  • Proper storage: Store perishables correctly. For instance, segregating bananas from other fruits can prevent them from hastening the ripening process of surrounding produce.

Join the Movement

The EPA’s Stop Food Waste campaign is dedicated to curbing household food waste across the nation. By adopting these small, actionable changes, everyone can contribute to a significant reduction in food waste.

With a variety of awareness-raising initiatives, the campaign provides practical tips and resources that help individuals make the most of their food.

To find out more, visit Stop Food Waste Ireland.


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Ours to Protect is funded by Coimisiún na Meán with the Television Licence Fee.

This project is a partnership between Beat 102 103 and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland.

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