Every year, over a third of the world’s produced food is thrown away.
And Scotland, like many countries, is a key player in food waste, with nearly 100,000 edible meals thrown away by restaurants across the country every day.
Edinburgh’s food outlets alone throw away 3.6 million meals every year.
However, a food app is on a mission to tackle the problem, and to help Scotland’s restaurants, hotels and retailers reduce their heavy waste volume.
The free Too Good To Go app, which compiled these food wastage figures, connects people with unsold food from restaurants or food outlets, which they can purchase at a reduced price.
Currently 6 million people use the app, but they’re calling on more food businesses and consumers in Scotland to join the food waste movement and rescue unsold meals.
From coffee shops to ice cream parlours, customers are able to search, filter and find preferred stores as well as discovering nearby stores. The app also shows the amount left and types of unsold food that will be thrown out at the end of the day.
The figures from Too Good To Go are released following Michael Gove’s announcement of a £15m fund to combat food waste in the UK.
While this funding will focus on reducing food waste from manufacturers, the Too Good To Go app is tackling the issue of edible, freshly prepared food that restaurants, hotels and retailers are forced to throw away at the end of trading.
As well as the cost to the environment, figures from Wrap state that food waste costs UK businesses over £2.5 million every week.
The app has rescued over seven million meals in nine countries across the world, with 300,000 of these in the UK.
They’ve saved meals from the bin at over 15,000 retailers including YO! Sushi, AccorHotels, Bonnie Burrito, Hendersons Salad Table, Twelve Triangles in Edinburgh and Il Cappuccino in Glasgow.
Hayley Conick, UK MD at Too Good To Go, said “No one leaves the lights on when they leave the house. Yet whether it’s in restaurants, food shops or our own homes we don’t think twice about throwing away perfectly good food.
“This isn’t just a problem in Scotland – 1.6bn tonnes of food is thrown away globally each year – and that’s 1.6bn tonnes too many.
“By creating a new market for surplus food we’re making sure that more food gets eaten, leaving businesses, consumers and the planet as winners in the process.”