The contents of a ‘magic bag’ from Greggs and Wenzels’

A West London student has discovered a “brilliant” way to cut costs on her weekly food shop as well as help the planet by saving food from going to waste.

Nineteen-year-old Megan Martin signed up for the Too Good To Go food wastage app and could not believe the amount of food she was able to collect from bakeries such as Greggs and Wenzel’s having spent only £3.

“I was shocked when i received a bag and it contained multiple sandwiches, pastries and even a full loaf of bread”
Megan Martin, Student

She said: “The process was easy – I just created an account on the app and then could view all the available food businesses in my area.

“There was a lot of choice and I was able to select a time slot for the closest Wenzel’s bakery to me later that afternoon.

“I thought I would just be given a leftover sandwich or cake but was shocked when I received the bag and it contained multiple sandwiches, pastries and even a full loaf of bread!”

Audio: Megan Martin shares her views on the app 

Food wastage is an increasing issue within the UK and across the globe with “a third of all food that’s produced around the world is wasted every year – a staggering fact and one that often goes under the radar,” said co-founder of Too Good To Go UK, Jamie Crummie.

“Not only is this a shocking figure when you take into account the issues of food insecurity and poverty we have around the world, but this wasted food is having a major impact on our planet too.

“Food waste contributes to 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – that’s 2% more than the aviation industry.”

He said it was a problem that was “easily tackled” and that the Too Good To Go app aims “to inspire and empower everyone to fight food waste together, not only through the use of our app but across all aspects of our lives,”.

The app, founded in the UK in 2016, works by allowing numerous restaurants, shops and bakeries to sign to up and sell unsold food for a reduced price to customers in the area who pay online and then collect a “magic bag” full of food that would have otherwise gone to waste.

This means that customers have no idea what they will receive until after collection and Jamie says the concept was “designed to be as flexible a tool as possible for our partner stores.

“Our users love the element of discovery that comes with rescuing a ‘magic bag’ with us and feedback shows that they often get to try food that they ordinarily wouldn’t choose themselves.”

“Our users have rescued 4.3 million meals from going to waste. That’s an incredible amount!”
Jamie crummie, Too good to go uk Co-founder

Jamie is proud to say that “since launching, we have signed over 11,000 partner businesses onto the app and together our users have rescued 4.3 million meals from going to waste. That’s an incredible amount!

“By saving these meals, we’ve prevented a whopping 10,750,000 tonnes of CO2e from going to waste which is the equivalent carbon footprint produced by 1,969 around the world flights or 60.6 years of continuous hot showering!”

According to fareshare 3.6 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry in the UK every year despite 2 million tonnes of it still being edible.

A wide range of overproduction within farms, wholesale and retail leads to surplus food that goes to waste everyday.

8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat still, so cost effective living solutions such as food waste apps allow less households to go hungry.