Prevention of food waste in restaurants, by resizing the portions served and providing a comfortable and nice way to bring leftovers home
A significant part of the municipal waste consists of food waste, either from meal preparation, food storage, bad stock management or end of expiry dates. Another part of food waste consists of processed/cooked food that is not eaten, which does not actually get to be served or goes back to the kitchen as scraps, when menus include excessive amounts of food. This means not only that food in good condition is thrown away every day, but also that every day people are acting irresponsibly, which has a negative impact on the environment. To tackle this problem Porto and Ibiza developed some projects dedicated to minimizing the amount of food waste produced in restaurants, all of them based on raising awareness and encouraging restaurants and their clients to change their eating habits.
The project “Dose Certa”, developed in Porto, consists on an educational action within the restaurants that voluntarily agreed to participate, aiming to resize the portions served in every meal and, consequently, reduce the amount of leftovers. Complementing “Dose Certa” and focusing on a different part of the process, the project “Embrulha.” consists on offering the restaurants a biodegradable leftovers pack, with an appealing appearance, to encourage clients to bring their leftovers home. The same concept that based the project “Embrulha.” was also explored by Ibiza with the project “Aprofita’Mmm”, which took place during the European Week for Waste Reduction in 2015 and 2016.
The development of these projects required the involvement of the restaurants and their customers, in order to get their collaboration and give them the required training.
Evidence of success
“Dose Certa” is implemented in 18 restaurants in Porto. The estimates show a reduction potential of around 30% of the food waste production. In the last quarter of 2017 “Embrulha.” Prevented 3,24 tonnes of food waste and 680 kg of CO2-equivalent emissions. Almost 40 restaurants participated in the campaign “Aprofita’Mmm” reaching more than 1000 customers each year. If each customer took home around 100g of leftover food, this campaign prevented 1000 kg of food waste each year
The main difficulties are common to the three projects and are mostly related with motivating the restaurants to join the projects and get involved, as well as reaching the costumers and make them willing to collaborate.
Potential for learning or transfer
The projects “Dose Certa”, “Embrulha.” and “Aprofita’Mmmm” are essentially based in awareness and training activities. They don’t imply significant logistical changes in the restaurants functioning and the key factor for their success is the collaboration of the restaurants and the participation of the costumers. Therefore, they are suitable to be replicated and implemented anywhere. Furthermore, the high density of restaurants is a common characteristic of heritage areas, so these kind of projects could have a significant impact in reducing the waste produced in these areas.
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