250,000 tonnes of food waste are generated annually by commercial food businesses such as restaurants, shops and workplace canteens, according to new EPA-funded research

The research - which investigated volumes, types and associated costs of food waste - deemed much of it to be avoidable.

Estimates value food waste for the hospitality sector alone in excess of €300 million. 

In light of the findings, the EPA is calling on businesses and consumers to take a new perspective on the value of food, with the aim of halving total 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 charge in this area,"  Richard Burton, Minster of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said. 

"It takes a lot of resources to put food on our tables," Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA, said.

"Growing, processing and transporting food all use large amounts of energy and materials."

"When food is wasted, these resources are wasted too - which impacts on climate change our local environment and business costs"

"To meet this environmental and financial challenge, food businesses need to start measuring the food being discarded, and then take action to reduce avoidable wastage."

The EPA's National Waste Prevention Programme considers food waste a priority waste stream.