Too Good To Go hits Milestone with over 1 million meals saved across the UK

By Beth Murray

Launched in the UK in 2016, the app Too Good To Go has a focus to combat global warming by reducing food waste. Globally, the organisation has saved 21,440,629 meals from being wasted since its launch.

Hayley Conick, UK Managing Director said: ‘While we are thrilled to have hit this milestone, the 1 million meals saved so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Seven million tonnes of edible food is wasted in the UK every year and we are on a mission to change this.’

The concept is simple – cafés, restaurants, hotels and bakeries sign up to the service in a bid to reduce their food waste. Members order a Magic Bag from the café they fancy and pay a significantly reduced price, usually between £2.30 and £4. The bag is made up of a selection of surplus food which would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the day.

Image by Beth Murray

Pirlous café, on the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, is one of the dozens of establishments in the city that use the service. They provide a magic bag costing £3.39. One specific bag contained two full baguettes, each valued at £4.50.

While picking it up, the manager, Jackie, gave some thoughts on the service: ‘In terms of food waste, it does save us from throwing away a lot. However, occasionally we find ourselves losing money as we have sold out of food during opening hours, which means we are making up fresh food for the bags.’

She went on to explain that while she agrees with the goal of the company, it has flaws which are often overlooked: ‘When the rep first came in, we were told they would provide us with all of the packaging we would need, that hasn’t happened so now we have to consider how much money is being spent on packaging the food.’

Jackie also expressed worries that expectations of consumers can often be too high: ‘People need to remember that while they may have expected more food, they are still getting a significant reduction and food which is still fresh.’

Food waste in Britain is a growing problem with over 10 million tonnes of food being thrown away every year. Last month alone, Too Good To Go saved 116,619 meals in the UK.

To put it into perspective, when one baguette is thrown away it is the equivalent of wasting a bath full of water. Saving one meal saves the planet from 2.5kg of CO2 – CO2 being one of the leading causes of global warming.

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In a survey conducted by To Good To Go in March this year, it was discovered that almost 69% of UK adults do not know the extent to which food waste contributes to global warming.

Too Go To Go have set a Global Movement with a series of aims to meet by 2020. These include increasing the number of app users, encouraging more businesses to get on board, educating young people on the importance of valuing resources and fighting labelling policies across supermarkets and business as expiry dates are the cause of 10% of all food waste across Europe.

They are currently working on a food waste movement specifically aimed towards the UK. This will include new figures, content and tips to help more people across the UK understand the importance of reducing food waste in the fight against climate change.

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