More than four in five Irish people are concerned about the level of food waste in their household, and 94% of homes are throwing food out, according to new research commissioned by SuperValu.
The research was commissioned as part of SuperValu’s 'Take Local Action, Make Global Impact' campaign, which aims to showcase the small actions we can all take in our homes, stores and towns to make a collective global impact.
SuperValu says it believes that 'how we live and work together in local communities is crucial to create a more sustainable future for everyone.'
Ireland generated a massive 753,000 tonnes of food waste in 2021, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), of which 29% is from households, amounting to a whopping 44kg of food waste per person on an annual basis.
Food waste costs the average Irish household about €700 per year.
The SuperValu research reveals that 82% of people in Ireland are concerned about food waste in their household and that 80% of those would like to reduce their food waste.
Spoilage, expiration and overbuying are the three most common reasons for food waste in Irish households.
SuperValu is demonstrating as part of their new campaign – 'Take Local Action, Make Global Impact – how, collectively, small lifestyle changes can lead to bigger global impacts.
That includes the way we shop, store and use food to help reduce food waste.
While most people are making a conscious effort to reduce their food waste, only 44% said they do a weekly meal plan, 36% said they portion correctly, and only 32% regularly use leftovers.
Correct Waste Segregation & Recycling
Along with food waste, people living in Ireland produce more than 14 million tonnes of general waste every year in their homes, places of work, and through leisure activities.
SuperValu’s research shows that when people are unsure of how to recycle an item, 74% dispose of it in the general waste disposal bin (i.e. black bin ) and only one in five people always read the recycling labels on the packaging before binning their rubbish.
The research also shows that a lack of awareness is causing an issue for recycling, as the main barriers to recycling packaging correctly are confusion about how to treat mixed packaging materials, contamination of recyclables with other waste such as food, and inconsistent recycling guidelines.
Speaking about the new initiative, Head of Sustainability at SuperValu, Owen Keogh, said, “At SuperValu we have an ambition to reach Net Zero carbon by 2040.
"Our stores have achieved a reduction of 9% in carbon emissions over the past year.
"At SuperValu we are committed to bringing sustainability into every area of our business and making it easier for our shoppers to make more sustainable choices.
"Research shows that people want to make changes but sometimes don’t know where to start and that’s why we’ve launched our 'Take Local Action, Make Global Impact' initiative.
"Across all our digital channels and in-store, we will be encouraging and highlighting ways people can take small local actions that can contribute to a global impact; from recipes to help reduce food waste, to recycling tips and highlighting in-store the extensive plant-based options and range of locally-sourced Irish products.”
As part of the campaign, SuperValu have identified some local actions that can make a global impact and are on a mission to help customers build some of these actions into their daily routines.
SuperValu Local Actions
- Cut food waste – meal planners and recipes, hacks and tips
- Recycle as much as possible and recycle correctly
- Bring your reusable cup
- Grow your own veg – from the garden to the windowsill
- Shop local and Irish, and in season
- One meat-free day per week
- Give 1 hour each week to your local Tidy Towns Group
- Take action by being more inclusive in your local GAA clubs and community
As Sustainable Development Goal Champions, first being awarded the title in the 2019-2020 Programme, SuperValu says that it recognises the important role that it plays in the climate crisis in its own business, but also with suppliers and customers.