7 inspiring initiatives around the world to reduce food waste

Oluwatoni Olujinmi

The problem of food waste is a major issue. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one-third of all food produced globally gets thrown away. Moreover, it is also estimated that at least one million people die each year as a result of hunger or malnutrition.

That’s why initiatives are so important. They can help us reduce the amount of food wasted every year and make sure everyone has enough food to eat.

What are these reducing food waste initiatives?

A food initiative is a program or policy implemented by government, non-profit organizations, or corporations to reduce food waste.

In fact, these programs can be implemented at the individual level (for example, people taking steps to reduce their own waste) or at the community level (for example, creating composting programs for restaurants).

1. Food waste alliance project

One of the best initiatives to reduce it is the Food Waste Alliance Project. This multi-stakeholder platform is a partnership between the European Commission, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Resources Institute (WRI).

The project aims to help businesses and organizations across Europe minimize their food losses at all stages of production by providing them with tools and information on how to better manage their resources.

2. Feeding the 5000

The Feeding the 5000 project is an initiative that aims to reduce wasting food and hunger by inviting people to cook and eat a meal together. The organisers hold events in different places around the world, inviting participants to bring their own ingredients that they can use to prepare a dish with other participants.

As well as providing an opportunity for people to connect over food, this event aims to highlight how much edible food is wasted every day across the world.

3. The edible bus stop project in London

The Edible Bus Stop is a collaboration between the London Borough of Waltham Forest and food waste charity Feedback.

The initiative sees edible city gardens growing on bus stops. In this way, people can pick fresh produce to cook with or eat on the go.

4. Replate’s corporate food waste solution

Replate is a food waste solution for corporate companies. We help companies reduce their food waste, save money and become more sustainable.

Replate provides a simple digital platform for businesses to donate surplus food. And also, to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on disposing of excess leftovers.

Furthermore, Replate’s technology allows us to create an efficient supply chain from the moment we receive your donation until it reaches the intended charity or organisation. This means that we can guarantee that no good surplus product goes to waste.

5. Food recovery network

Food Recovery Network is a nonprofit organization that works to fight hunger and reduce food waste by rescuing surplus food and delivering it to people in need. They work with restaurants, grocers, and other food service providers. The aim is to recover their surplus food and deliver it to community organizations that serve people in need. 

Currently operating in California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Oregon (with expansion into New York City soon), Food Recovery Network’s goal is to help eradicate hunger. This, by rescuing excess wholesome food from businesses who donate it instead of throwing it away.

6. Save food from fridge

As part of the campaign, Save Food From Fridge is calling on people to take part in a project called ‘The Big Food Waste Audit’. The aim of this project is for participants to conduct a waste audit for one week. The, to record their findings and share them with others via social media.

Food waste has become an important issue in recent years. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that people throw away £13 billion worth of edible food each year. This is the equivalent weight of 2 million double decker buses!

7. Love food, hate waste

Love Food, Hate Waste is a campaign launched by the UK government in 2009 to help people reduce food waste.

It aims to educate people on how to avoid wasting food, focusing on four main areas. Namely planning meals, using leftovers, buying wisely, and storing safely.

Read also: What is Permaculture and why is it an example of sustainability

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