Environmental impact of food waste

Food waste has environmental impacts and contributes to:

  • land and soil being degraded
  • water pollution
  • resources being used faster than being replaced
  • climate change

Encouraging patients to eat their food can lead to improved nutritional care and less food waste.

The Climate Action Plan sets a target for Ireland to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.

Remember: if you haven’t measured it, you can't manage it.

Measuring, monitoring and benchmarking waste in healthcare facilities

Food waste composting

Managers should ensure that healthcare sites have a food waste composting system and a brown food waste bins. This allows for the correct disposal of compostable catering items. It also ensures compliance with the Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009.

To introduce a food waste composting system, contact the Office of Government Procurement (OGP).


Best practice guidance

Best Practice on Food Waste Reduction (PDF, 3.82MB, 6 pages)

Fact sheet

Factsheet on food waste in Irish hospitals (PDF, 2MB, 4 pages)

Case studies

Mayo General Hospital: food waste prevention (PDF, 1MB, 3 pages)

St. Michael’s Hospital: food waste prevention programme overview (PDF, 1.49MB, 3 pages)