Skip to Content

Here’s how much money Americans are losing from trashed food

Woman Collects Refundable Bottles In BrooklynWoman Collects Refundable Bottles In Brooklyn
A woman rummages through trash bags searching for refundable bottles September 29, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Photograph by Robert Nickelsberg — Getty Images

Americans may be more environmentally conscious and health food-oriented these days, but that isn’t preventing each person from trashing $640 worth of food, on average, each year, according to a USA Today report.

The newspaper cites data from the American Chemistry Council that show 76% of us dump leftovers almost every month, despite the popularity of leftovers for meals — apparently over half of us use them for new meals, such as lunch. The American Chemistry Council tabulated its results by surveying 1,000 people.

According to the publication:

The wasted money bugs 79%, and 45% are bothered because other people don’t have enough to eat, but just 15% say they’re bothered by the impact on the environment.

“For years we’ve been told to finish your plate, there are hungry people,” said Steve Russell, the vice president of plastics at ACC, in an interview with USA Today. “I just don’t think we’ve done a good enough job yet talking about the environmental impacts of food waste.”