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Food waste recycler calls on Government, big business to commit to reducing food waste

A small South Auckland-based food recycling company is calling on other New Zealand companies and the Government to step up and commit to reducing our food waste.

EcoStock turns 200 tonnes of the region's vegetable scraps, bread and packaged food that would otherwise go to the landfill into stock feed and bioenergy every day.

EcoStock managing director Andrew Fisher joined TVNZ1's Breakfast to discuss what the country could do to better curb food waste.

"I think we need to first understand that we've got councils actually working on it now," he said.

"At the coal face, most organisations are trying to do something, it's now on engine rooms and on the tables of decision-makers, so the work's been done, the data's been gathered, but the big infrastructure questions have still got to be funded.

"So we're sort of there – we're 20 years behind on infrastructure, and enthusiasm's right up with everybody else, but at scale, we've not got the solutions there."

He said while he doesn’t believe the problem of food waste will receive the resources it needs, self-funding and the public's support of small businesses is making a difference.

"We've been very fortunate. We've got companies like Nespresso, Goodman Fielder, actually out there supporting us, we're working with the supermarkets – it’s small steps.

"We need some bigger steps to get back in equal parity with some of the other world countries."

Mr Fisher said stopping the use of plastic would be more difficult than reducing our food waste.

"Tackle the other uses for it, and making it when people pick it up, they’re having the confidence that they’re putting it somewhere in a bin, a recycling vessel, that it's going to go to a use and be used, whether it be in roading, concreting, so it's taken out of the market or out of the environment."

In an oral submission to the Environment Select Committee, he suggested that they continue to invest in universities' new technologies; making small, incremental increases to the waste levy; and to "set some bigger targets and actually be taking waste from landfill."

"It's using science and technology and that Kiwi innovation, because we can do it."

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EcoStock’s Andrew Fisher discussed what Kiwis should do to reduce food waste on TVNZ1’s Breakfast. Source: Breakfast