The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that 250,000 tonnes of food waste are generated annually by commercial food businesses such as restaurants, shops and workplace canteens.
The research investigated the volumes, types and associated cost of food waste arising in these businesses and found much of it was avoidable.
The EPA estimates that the waste is costing the Irish hospitality sector over €300 million.
EPA is hosting the 3rd Forum on Food Waste today, the theme of which is ‘Measuring What Matters‘.
Ireland produces more than one million tonnes of food waste per year.
In 2015, Ireland and 200 other countries committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which included a specific commitment on food waste.
During his opening address, Minister of Communications, Climate Action & Environment Richard Bruton said: “Over 1 million tonnes of food are wasted every year in Ireland. About 70 per cent of this comes from industry costing Irish business over €2 billion annually.
“As part of the Climate Action Plan, we have committed to halving food waste by 2030. Delivering on this ambition will require a collaborative effort from government, enterprise, the EPA and pioneers such as Food Cloud who are leading the change in this area.
“I urge all businesses here today to make a start and sign up to the Food Waste Charter and to use the resources available to drive down their food waste.”