Food Waste – Over Two Thirds Of Irish Households Use A Brown Bin

Consumers and businesses are being urged to use a brown bin, recycle their food waste and reduce their carbon footprint.

The calls comes as this year’s National Food Waste Recycling Week has been officially launched.

Now in its third year, the awareness campaign from, runs from June 2 until June 9 2024.

The event aims to provide practical advice and encourage more consumers and businesses to recycle food waste correctly in their home or workplace.

Food Waste

A survey of over 1,000 adults, conducted by iReach on behalf of, found that over two thirds of all householders in Ireland currently use a brown bin.

The research also revealed that of those who do use a brown bin, helping climate change is the top motivation, with 35% saying this is why they use a food waste bin.

However, there are still some people who put food waste in the general waste bin, meaning this food waste will never be recycled.

A recent study from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that in commercial general waste bins, 30% of the contents are food waste, while in household general waste bins, 17% of the content is food waste.

Since January, all householders in Ireland are entitled to a brown bin recycling collection service from their waste collector as new EU legislation came into force.


In Ireland, it’s estimated we waste about 750,000 tonnes of food each year, which is the equivalent to the weight of 7,000 blue whales.

Food waste that ends up in landfill is a significant contributor to climate change, generating about 8% to 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Pauline McDonogh, resource efficiency officer at, acknowledged the progress that has been made on the use of brown bins, but added that more can be done.

“We’d urge everyone – consumers and businesses – if you don’t use a brown bin, please start, and make a positive change for our environment,” she said. is also calling on businesses across Ireland to implement a sustainability strategy within their organisations and get a brown bin, to correctly recycle of food waste.

“We want to highlight the importance of separating waste food from its packaging to ensure we reduce contamination and achieve high-quality compost and raw material for green energy which is then good for the environment as it is a closed production process and supports our circular economy,” McDonogh said.

Brown Bin

The brown bin service accepts all types of food including raw and cooked meat and fish, plate scrapings, along with fruit and vegetable peelings.

Other items that can go into the brown bin include food-soiled paper napkins, paper towels, greasy pizza boxes as well as grass clippings and light garden waste offered the following three tips to prevent and correctly deal with food waste:

  • Plan your meals and only get the ingredients you need. Before you go to the shops, shop at home! Check your own cupboards, fridge and freezer. Make a shopping list;
  • Storing food properly can help extend the life of your food and prevent spoilage. Make sure to store perishable items like fruits and vegetables in the fridge and keep dry goods like pasta and rice in airtight containers;
  • Use your brown bin and compost. Even with the best intentions, some food waste is unavoidable. Put it in the brown bin, and use a kitchen caddy to always separate food waste.

(Source – Agriland – Aisling O Brien – 30/05/2024)

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