How technology and circular economy are allying to fight food waste 

The increasing trend of circular economy is spreading across multiple fields and tasks of everyday life, food sphere included. More and more proposals are coming from companies of any sector, especially from start-ups, to turn food surplus into a useful resource for communities. What is normally considered as wastage could not only be reintroduced into a virtuous circle of consumption, but might also represent a proficuous income for businesses. A great advantage to add to many other benefits carried by food recovery.

In this sense, technology is bringing a significant contribution to make all these initiatives and services accessible to anyone. And when talking about anyone, we are not mentioning just consumers: following the same inclusive logic of circular economy, stakeholders might embody even producers, retailers and restaurateurs.

We could think about algorithms and hardwares, but connecting this broader group of users is less complicated that anyone could imagine: it only takes a touch, indeed. One of the easiest, handiest and most accessible device that technology could offer in support of food recovery is the app.

Many young and proactive entrepreneurs choose it as a tool to take their idea into practice. Like the Finnish team of ResQ-club, whose idea is to allow restaurants to sell their exceeding preparations at lower prices -rather than throwing them away. By pinpointing the user’s position, the app can tell which are the closest restaurants and what they are selling. ResQ-club is operating in several cities in North Europe and from January 2016 it has saved over 25000 kg of food from waste.

A similar example comes from the Danish team of Too Good To Go, whose app connects restaurant willing to sell their unsold food. The app immediately found an international success: it quickly spread even outside Denmark, and reached more than 550.000 users across Europe. It is currently available in Germany, France, Uk and Norway, and has saved 8500 meals so far.

Useful tools and ideas are coming to the aid of charity as well. Like Food Cowboy, an app developed in Texas, that allows charity organizations to collect entire food boxes and pallets rejected from big distribution warehouses.

Taken by granted the permeation of technology in our everyday lives, the usability and the accessibility of these devices could only guarantee an increasing number of users from different realities, and significantly support the fight against food waste.

photo credits: Too Good To Go