What about Food Waste?

One of the global projects of IAAS World this year is ‘No Food Waste’. During the European Directors Meeting, IAAS members discussed about the amounts of food wasted in their countries.  We tried to collect as many ideIAAS and initiatives as possible about this topic, because together we want to contribute to tackle this worldwide problem.

The representatives of each IAAS committee were asked to visualise the amount of food wasted in their country per year by comparing it with another object. Did you ever try to compare those huge amounts to a number of Titanics or Olympic Swimming Pools?

 

In Greece there is an NGO called ‘Boroume’ which tackles food waste and consists of 3 different programs: one to create more awareness by education, to address the problem of excess of agricultural production. IAAS Volos is trying to create an app with products near the expiring date to make sure that they still could be used by selling them for a reduced price or donate to good charities.
In Croatia mostly local initiatives are present. There are shops that sell expired food and workshops organised to educate people how to use food waste in different ways.
Our members from Poland explained us about a food bank where leftover products of supermarkets and restaurants are collected and donated to people in need. There are also educational initiatives where children learn how to preserve food for example. Furthermore, there is a possibility to commit to a project of separating garbage. When people sign in for this project, they pay a smaller price for their garbage. In Poland, there are also many ‘food sharing’ points with fridges or shelves where people can bring their leftovers of food and share it with other people. Finally, there is also an interesting website where people invite other people to buy the portions of food they have left.
In Germany and Switzerland, also many of those fridges are placed where people share their food with each other. Additionally, different organizations pick up food leftovers from supermarkets and restaurants and bring them to charities.
Our delegates of USA, emphasized that there are a lot of legal restrictions about donations of food leftovers and expired food. Nevertheless, bottom-up initiatives are existing like a food recovery network where leftovers are picked up at university and brought to a food bank.
Slovenian members explained about local projects like a local Zero Waste project, diverse No Food Waste workshops and donations of food to people in need.
In Belgium, ‘food sharing’ points with fridges can also be found at different locations. Another concept that is applied is Zero Waste stores, where people bring empty pots and fill them in the store with the food they want to buy. This way no extra packaging is necessary and you’re able to choose the quantity of food you need.
Finally, our Italian members added a few extra concepts like the development of technology to improve shelf-life of products and awareness projects.

Remarkable are the differences between amounts of food wasted per person in different countries, but also a variety in actions taken against the waste of food. We were happy to get inspired by the different actions that countries are taking!

After the short presentations of the participants about the problem and solutions in their country, the members started brainstorming about many more solutions and actions against no food waste in their university, in IAAS events, in their home, local community and on a global scale. The outcome was really interesting and was collected carefully. Become involved yourself and share your ideas about No Food Waste with us: bit.ly/iaas-projects

The outcome will be used in guidelines about the No Food Waste project for all our members. We hope to inspire our committees to take action in this project!

Go further! Go IAAS!