4 of the best apps working to combat food waste
In the UK, roughly 18 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill each year – 7 million of which comes from households. How can we all do our part in lowering these figures?
From services that connect food retailers with hungry locals keen for deliciously discounted leftovers, to a virtual itinerary that will remind you when your eggs are nearing the end of their life, at least one of these anti food-waste apps is bound to be just the right fit for your lifestyle.
What is it? The world’s largest surplus food marketplace, Too Good To Go is an ideal solution for stores and restaurants that are often faced with having to chuck out heaps of unsold produce at the end of the day. Surplus food is portioned out into ‘Magic Bags’, which you can reserve and buy on the app, before picking up your goodies at the appointed time.
Who would love it? ‘Magic Bags’ don’t generally contain full meals – rather a medley of leftover bits and bobs, ranging from starters, sides and snacks, to helpings of main meals. With that in mind, if you’re an unfussy eater who loves the element of surprise, then this app is for you.
Has it made an impact? UK users of Too Good To Go have helped save a whopping 861,858 meals from going to waste.
What is it? Kind of like Tinder for leftovers, the Olio app enables users to list their unwanted ingredients – whether perishables, tins or freezer food – and see if any neighbours or people in in the same area could find a use for them. It’s a sharing service, so it’s totally free, and has a chat function that’s perfect for arranging pick up locations and times.
Who would love it? Anyone keen to save some money, and make a difference in the amount of food going to landfill in their local community. Guilty of going food shopping without having properly checked the food you’ve already got, and therefore frequently end up with duplicates? Consider Olio your solution.
Has it made an impact? The 1,212,420 OLIOers have saved a massive 1,951,282 portions of food in total.
What is it? A food waste reduction initiative that resembles less of a virtual lucky dip, and more of a window-shop, the Karma app connects restaurants, cafes, bakeries and grocery stores – from Michelin-starred Aquavit, to family-run market stalls – with local consumers keen to eat well, spend less, and save the planet. An instant service, businesses list their leftover meals on the app as and when they’re available, based on the demand that day, so if something tickles your fancy, be sure to get in quick.
Who would love it? Someone who’s always busy or often on-the-go, and wants a fuss-free meal that’s ready as it is, and doesn’t require any additional preparation or imagination. Karma is also prime fodder for foodies who love to frequently eat out, but don’t feel they can justify the cost – sample the culinary delights of a variety of London hot-spots, for half of the retail price.
Has it made an impact? Thanks to their 2000 retailers worldwide, Karma have saved a total of 295 tonnes of food from ending up in the bin.
4) No Waste
What is it? Essentially, No Waste is the PA to your pantry – keeping a log of what you’ve already got in your freezer, fridge and cupboards, sorting everything by their expiration dates, and giving you a little nudge when you need to start frantically blending up your outstanding veggies into soup. Simply scan a barcode or your receipt, and get your itinerary in motion.
Who would love it? Being a simple, communication-free way to cut waste, this app is ideal for someone who’s time-poor, but keen to make a difference. The ability to synchronise and share your lists also makes No Waste ideal for house-sharing. No more “Do we need any milk?” – just use No Waste to check your communal supplies.
Has it made an impact? Households in Denmark have a yearly estimate of 34% food waste – but No Waste users have a 94,2% average consumption rate, and so waste less than 6% of their food.
How do I get it? Download No Waste from the App Store.