Shrink your food waste app

In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that about one-third of all food produced is wasted annually, a concern echoed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Target 12.3 of the SDGs aims to halve food waste by 2030. Reports indicate much household waste stems from unused food, highlighting the importance of reducing food waste as a key environmental strategy across various sectors.Keeping an inventory of food and use-by dates can help prevent waste; engaging applications, capitalizing on social incentives and nudges as well as immersive technology can greatly facilitate this process.  

The mobile application of CHOICE will enable users track their food items and when they are expiring, using colour coding, while it may also allow notifications and reminders when food is ready to ‘go off’. It will provide ‘fun-facts’ information to assist the user preserve its food in better conditions, explain the meaning of ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ information, a major cause of food waste in households, as well as train its users into the reality that the aesthetic part of the food is not always a sign of ‘good or bad food’.  

Locally inspired recipe recommendations for using food up will support the consumer efforts. In addition, the app will offer convenient features, such as integrated shopping lists with smart prioritisation, focusing on previously tracked targets and achieved goals. The app will indicate the impact of food waste reduction at a personal level, but also, capitalising on IAM models’ simplified interfaces and associated results, will reflect the impacts of such behavioural shift potential when adopted at large-scale.  

This sense of community, together with the inclusion of nudges and challenges that the app will create for its user, will support the consumer navigate their journey into adopting more sustainable behaviour as per their food waste. Inversely, tracking results from a large user base and observing their motivation (or no motivation) to adopt related mitigation actions, will support the calibration of IAM results with realistic data on the penetration of demand-side measures and improve their relevance to the society’s actual capacity to approach the 1.5oC pathways