Restaurants Urged To Cut Food Waste

Restaurants and food outlets need to cut down on the amount of food they put on consumers’ plates to reduce waste, according to the Agriculture Minister.

Charlie McConalogue said there is a lot of waste within food service and urged every business to look to address the issue further.

Latest data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show Ireland generated 770,316 tonnes of food waste in 2020.

About 31% of the total comes from households, 29% comes from the processing and manufacturing sector, with the remainder coming from restaurants and food service (23%), primary production (9%), and retail and other distribution of food (8%). 

Food waste costs the nation €1.29bn, the EPA has also said.

Mr McConalogue said:

“There's an imperative on us to actually address this. It's something that really grates with me and really annoys me, because, you know, I've seen it at all different levels. It's much better not to overload somebody's plate but allow somebody to come back for seconds, and there’ll be a lot less putting food into the bin as a result of that approach.”

In an interview with the Irish Examiner, the Donegal TD said he believed it was less of a problem if people were not given enough food at a restaurant and said people can “always ask for seconds” and pay for it. 

The Government has committed to reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.