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Australian business owners and consumers are thinking more about sustainability now

Survey shows COVID-19 prompts musing on sustainabi
Photo: COVID-19 prompts musing on sustainability
A third of Australian small business owners and consumers are thinking more about sustainability now than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A third of Australian small business owners and consumers have been prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic to take sustainability and the impacts of climate change more seriously.

A survey of more than 300 small business owners and 1000 Australian adults, commissioned by food waste management firm iugis, found three quarters of respondents were concerned about food waste and sustainability.

A third of all respondents, meanwhile, said they were more concerned about those issues than they were before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The majority of Australian small businesses and consumers believe there is an important link between sustainability and our economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19," iugis' Jeff Olling said in a statement on Thursday.

The research found food waste was among the top three concerns for Australian small businesses, and among the top 10 for consumers.

More than 60 per cent of small business owners and consumers believed Australian governments at all levels could do more to mitigate the problem, which iugis says costs the economy $20 billion each year.

More than two thirds of respondents agreed they should also take more personal responsibility for the food they waste.

iugis chief executive Bill Papas said a "reset" was required on the issue.

"Reducing this figure will have a dramatic impact on our environment and economy," Mr Papas said in a statement on Thursday.

"As we move into the new year, let's put reducing food waste on top of mind to make sure we leave a lasting legacy for future generations to follow."

It comes after a food waste report by Rabobank found last week that Australians are wasting more food than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily due to panic buying and food delivery services.

Food waste costs each Australian household more than $1000 per year.


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