4.4m tonnes of household food waste were thrown away in the UK in 2015. 4.4m tonnes of totally edible food worth £470. You can see this situation across all developed countries. According to the World Bank one-third of all food produced globally for our dining tables is lost or wasted. Some 7 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions are due to food waste.
The biggest problem in this story is us. Consumers account for 42% of all food waste, followed by producers, hotels, restaurants and cafés and finally supermarkets.
Luckily, just as much as the problem of foodwaste is booming, there is a boom around innovations and startups all around the world tackling the problem along the whole food chain.
We are hoping to bring a lot of them to the ChangeX platform this year to help you tackle this problem and have an impact on the community level.
We’d also love to hear from you which ideas you like and which ones you think have a great impact and should be spreading faster across communities and countries? Please just leave your comments below.
1. The Solidarity Fridge – Spain
The concept of the solidarity fridge is as simple as its name suggests: Everyone can place surplus food in this public fridge for people to pick it up who need it more. The concept was developed in Spain during the economic crisis. Galdakao, a small town near Bilbao, has been home to the very first Solidarity Fridge since April 2015.
— Carol Soudah (@CarolNBC4) August 13, 2015
Since then the concept has made its way to communities across Spain, Europe and America.
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) August 3, 2016
Have you spotted a Solidarity Fridge somewhere yet?
Update December 2017: ChangeX can now support you in starting a Solidarity Fridge in your own community. We’ve partnered with hubbub from the UK to build a Community Fridge Network in Ireland.
2. Foodsharing – Germany
The German startup Foodsharing is using the idea of the solidarity fridge as part of their concept, but at the heart of Foodsharing is an online platform, helping private households to redistribute their left-overs. You sign up to the platform and can offer your ‘food baskets’ to other members of the community to pick up.
Foodsharing has saved 7,055,106 KG of food from going to waste so far!
Foodsharing are not the only ones who had this idea, there are many more inititives like this in different countries, for example Copia in the San Francisco, US who say they have fed 691,000 people so far.
3. Foodcloud and the Food Rescue Project – Ireland
If you take the Foodsharing idea from the consumer to the supermarkets, you get Foodcloud. The Irish social startup, that’s connecting supermarkets like their biggest partner Tesco to charities who can redistribute the surplus food. Volunteers are helping to pick up the food.
This way, Foodcloud have saved 2,730 tonnes of food or the equivalent of 7,731 tonnes of CO2. Maybe even more importantly, they donated 6,000,000 meals to people who need it.
412 Food Rescue in Pittsburgh, USA and zero percent in Chicago, USA are just two examples of other international startups who came up with a solution very similar to the one of Foodcloud. If you’re interested in getting involved and helping out with Foodcloud in Ireland you can sign-up on ChangeX today!
4. Food Cycle – UK
The English social enterprise Food Cycle is on a mission of redistributing left-overs from supermarkets as well. Once a week their volunteers pick up the food and create a community lunch with it. This way, not only do the volunteers rescue food but the FoodCycle team wants to help people who are at risk of food poverty or social isolation directly. The idea has spread across 30 communities in the UK so far.
5. Instock Restaurant – Netherlands
This idea is demonstrating once more, that surplus food can be turned into totally nutritious and tasty meals. In this case, meals that people actually pay for.
In the Instock Restaurant in Amsterdam, you won’t find a set menu. What’s on the menu here depends on what has been thrown out elsewhere. An every-day challenge for the cooks and a surprise for the guests. Only basic ingredients like olive oil or milk are not part of the food pick ups.
The Instock Restaurant is now building on its reputation, organising cooking classes focused on preparing meals with food waste, providing lots of tips and tricks.
Michelin star cook Dan Barber is now bringing the concept of the the foodwaste restaurant to London as well. And if you happen to be in L.A. at some point, you might want to make a stop at L.A. Kitchen for a taste of waste.
6. Resq-Club – Finland
What if the Instock Restaurants ends up with left-over soups and salads at the end of the day? Here comes the Resq-Club. This social enterprise is partnering with restaurants to rescue whole meals, allowing the restaurants to sell what’s left for a discounted price. Customers can make their order through an online platform. Deliveroo for a good cause.
The company launched only one year ago and already rescued 80 000 meals from 200 participating restaurants in Finland. An amount that equals 3 000 000 km driven.
7. The Gleaning Network – UK
The Gleaning Network focuses on the no two of our top wasters, the producers. The idea is to collects fruit and vegetables that are wasted on farms. Again, volunteers collect the food and redistribute it to charities.
In a partnership with Foodcycle (see above) they are also planning to train young people to tackle food waste while also addressing the issue of social isolation.
Between its start in 2012 to the end of 2016, the Gleaning Network gleaned 288 tonnes of produce – equal to more than 3 million portions of fruit and veg – with over 1,500 volunteers across 154 gleaning days.
We can’t wait to hear about more effective ideas fighting food waste and food poverty from you. Please share your favourite ideas in the comments below.