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Tāmaki Makaurau – Each year New Zealanders throw out $1.17billion worth of avoidable food waste.

That’s 86kg per Kiwi household, the equivalent of 60 rotisserie chickens or three full shopping trolleys a year.

The wastage hurts people’s pockets and is damaging to the environment.

Tomorrow, September 29, marks the second UN international day of awareness of food loss and waste.

The day is a call to action for everyone to increase efforts to reduce food loss and waste to help ensure food security for all.

Why Kiwis mostly waste food is a lack of planning and lack of knowledge about how to best store food, to ensure it lasts.

As well as food being discarded because it has gone off, parts of food that are completely edible are often chucked away. Yet broccoli stems and silver beet stalks are nutritious and delicious.

In addition, 29 million loaves of bread are binned and 12 thousand tonnes of potatoes are dumped each year in New Zealand.

Love Food Hate Waste says when people throw out an uneaten apple Kiwis are also throwing out work and resources that went into producing it; emissions that were generated while producing that food were created for no reason.

There is a need to connect food producers with consumers so that the value of food is understood beyond its dollar value.

The disconnection is one of the reasons people don’t always try to reduce their food waste as much as they could.

WasteMINZ is keen to help reduce waste. It is the largest representative body of the waste, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors in NZ.