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Stop the waste

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OPINION: There's an apple in my house that clocked up around 120 kilometres of travel last week and I bet there's apples all over New Zealand doing similar miles.

They travel to school and back each day hoping to be the one picked from your child's lunchbox, the one chosen over sandwiches, rolls, sushi, cakes, biscuits, or popcorn but instead they return home each afternoon and are placed back in the fridge or fruit bowl, ready to fight another day until they end up in the compost or landfill.

As I've learned, kids are the absolute worst when it comes to food waste. New Zealanders in general have an abysmal food waste problem. The average New Zealander sends about 3 kilograms of food waste to landfill every week, nationally we waste about $2 billion worth of food every year and it accounts for about one third of all our waste going to landfill.

A study by WasteMINZ found the highest wasters were those between 16 and 24 years, households with five or more people living in them, households with children under 15 and households with an annual income of over $100,000. So why is it we seem to know so much about our nations' food waste habits, yet those habits aren't really changing?

* Food and green waste collection to be trialled in Wellington this year
* A blueprint for solving New Zealand's waste problem
* Most want zero waste but not everyone wants to pay for it

The answer is perhaps part of the reason why Waikato District Council made the decision this week to pull Xtreme........

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