The German supermarket has found a solution to the problem of expired (but still edible) food: they give it away for free to customers.
The typical German store discards food that has expired but is frequently still edible in containers outdoors. Edeka distributes expired food.
However, the Edeka store in Esnabrück, Lower Saxony, has established a special station this year to allow items that have expired or are thought to have expired to stay on the shelves.
Any customer can come and pick up a variety of products, from fruit and vegetables to packaged goods. “The most important thing is to get as many shops as possible to stop throwing away food,” said manager Guido Hartmann in an interview with German broadcaster NDR. “And if everyone puts a bin like this in front of their door, there will no longer be a need for [waste] bins.”
Germans throw away 55kg of food per capita every year, and the government has set a target of halving that figure by 2030.
At Edeka, a special ‘Gold bin’ offers shelves filled with food that, for various reasons, is no longer fit for purpose. The refrigerated section is filled with fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be thrown away.
Gartmann also collects leftover greens that can be used as animal feed. Customers can pick up leeks, lettuce and more for their pets free of charge.