Evaluating the effectiveness of priority household food waste reduction interventions
Households are the greatest single contributor to food waste in Australia, accounting for $19 billion annually – more than half of the yearly $36 billion cost to the national economy. Supporting households to reduce their food waste is important if Australia is to meet the National Food Waste Strategy target to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030, in line with our United Nations Sustainable Development Goal commitments (Goal 12.3).
This project will critically and independently evaluate the potential effectiveness of a suite of priority household food waste reduction interventions resulting in a toolkit for practitioners to guide design household food waste interventions.
Once finalised, the project can be used to inform approaches in Australia by governments, business, industry and non-government organisations to address the consumer behaviour change needed to reduce household food waste across Australia.
The interventions evaluated will be guided by the evidence-based priorities previously identified by the Fight Food Waste CRC in the Designing effective interventions to reduce household food waste project (the Household Project), combined with the priorities of intervention sponsors (Sponsor is an organisation who will sponsor the implementation of a household food waste intervention). These priorities for interventions to be evaluated centre on the household behaviours that are most effective in achieving food waste reduction, and the food categories that have the most impact.
The priority household behaviours to be encouraged in the evaluation are:
- Preparing appropriate amounts of food
- Planning for changes in meal plans
- Eating leftovers
- Purchasing appropriate amounts
- Eating oldest items first
- Appropriate storage in fridge/freezer
- Plating small servings
The priority food categories to focus on for the evaluation are:
- Meat and seafood
- Fresh vegetables and fresh herbs
- Bread and bakery
Our methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions:
- Select multiple sponsors who would rollout a selected number of interventions to reduce household food waste (the respective sponsor funds the intervention
- Evaluate the impact of each intervention (project funds evaluation)
- In consultation with the sponsor, a strategy will be developed for implementing and evaluating each intervention
- Prior to the commencement of each intervention, baseline data, agains which change can be measured, will be collected and documented (i.e., amount of food waste, or specific behaviours, or both, within a target audience)
- At the end of the intervention, and one month after this, further data will be collected to measure the change.
- A tool kit to guide practitioners in designing household food waste interventions
- A national report on Effectiveness of household food waste interventions
- A journal paper on evaluation of household food waste interventions
March 2022 – June 2023