The browning bananas on your kitchen counter could be transformed into the plastic packaging that contains your next garden salad.
Scientists say they have found a way to divert food from landfill and convert it into biodegradable plastic wraps and cellophanes.
Food waste accounts for about 3 per cent of the country's annual greenhouse gas emissions and flushes away more than 6 trillion litres of water — emptying 1,000 Olympic-size swimming pools would only use 2.5 billion litres.
Almost 8 million tonnes of food worth about $40 billion are wasted each year in Australia, through on-farm and supply chain losses, in restaurants and supermarkets.
But households discard the most food, throwing away about one-third of all organic refuse.
Researchers, who are focused on tackling the problem, say better packaging and use-by-date guidance are central to cutting back the waste.
Protection or problem?
Food Innovation Australia's national food waste strategy argues reducing household food waste will require consumer behaviour change coupled with technical developments in packaging, and recommends improved portioning and better food date labelling.
According to Stop Food Waste Australia, a partnership tasked with implementing the waste reduction roadmap, about half of all food waste is fresh produce.