Today’s Solutions: March 03, 2024

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown out or wasted every year across the world. This amounts to one-third of all food produced worldwide.

In a bid to help solve this global problem, a supermarket in Berlin has come up with a local solution: reselling all of the unattractive products that other grocery stores refuse to carry.

The SirPlus grocery store stocks their shelves with foodstuffs and produce that is expired, near to expired, misshapen, or just a bit odd, and offers it to shoppers for up to 80 percent less than the regular supermarket prices.

Some of the food rejected by other supermarkets, restaurants, or wholesalers—which SirPlus quality assurance specialists inspect every day—is discarded because of something as little as a cucumber that has grown at a 90-degree angle, or a jar of jam that is mislabeled. Others, like items past their expiration date, are carefully examined to ensure that it is safe to eat.

The concept allows producers and distributors to save storage and disposal costs by selling or donating their food to SirPlus, which if their own storage space can’t accommodate, will be offered for free to NGOs.

In 2019, the supermarket saved 2,000 tons of good food from being thrown away, and the company also has bold plans for 2020, aiming to continue opening stores in Berlin while expanding into other cities.

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