CCAFS, a renowned research program on climate change, agriculture and food security tells us that “Roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption, about 1.3 billion tonnes per year, gets lost or wasted globally—the equivalent of 6 to 10 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions.” Speaking of New Zealand, Food waste is one of the many environmental issues that the government is trying to address. Food and Garden waste makes almost 50% of our waste every year.
WasteMINZ is a large representative body of the waste and resource recovery sector in New Zealand. A recent report from a research on food waste in New Zealand shows that our country wastes over quarter a million tonnes of food per year. And this accounts to over $750 million per year.
An obvious cause of food waste is ‘buying more food than needed’. A not-so-obvious cause of food waste is the lack of knowledge of use-by and best-before dates. The symptoms of food waste are:Waste of moneyOver production of foodExtra packaging needed for the extra foodPollutionExcess release of CO2 into the atmosphere
-ZeroWaste New Zealand estimates more than $2 billion offood is wasted annually, amounting to an estimated $465 offood per person a year.The long term effects are the carbon footprints of food produced and not eaten. This is estimated at 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases, which leads to global warming.
2.1Our solution is a product expiry reminder screen with an inbuilt scanner at the top. Simply attach the screen onto any exterior flat surface such as a fridge, cabinet or pantry with the magnets provided. As you scan the products, the information and expiry dates will be displayed on the touch screen. The list will automatically sort itself into anorder of earliest product expiry. The user can adjust the reminder option so that the product is displayed in red from between 1 to 7 days within it’s expiration date, while the other products are displayed in black. Thisreminds the users to eat the products before they expire, and thus reducing food waste.
2.2An underlying cause of food wastage is that people buy too much food that they forget about and don’t finish, and thus throwing them away as they become expired. Our product reminds the users to consume the food before they expire and thus addresses this underlying cause.
2.3This solution is innovative and better than any existing solution because there are no products in the wide market today which offer the same service as our product.Existing solutions for Food Waste only involve tighter packaging to make products last longer. But this does not address the problem of consumers disposing of expired food due to their inattention of consuming the food in time. A problem that our product addresses.
2.4The use of Information technology generates value by speeding up processes, which increases productivity. For example, instead of taking a long time to record the product expiry dates manually, the product scanning system and the product information filter system instantly collect and display this data neatly on the screen. The key performance indicator we will use is the measure of the percentage of food waste disposed by households before and after the use of our product to determine whether or not our product succeeds in helping the users reduce food waste.
Organic waste going to landfill
results in the creation of harmful
(US environmental protection agency,
The average New
creates 800kg of
waste per year.
Here’s what’s in the
bag: (CCAFS, 2013)
storage of fruit
Value of food
OVER $2 BILLION OF FOOD IS
(Zerowaste NZ, 2014)
• Methane and
Inbuilt scanner at
or any flat
Addressing the underlying causes
Decreases the chance
of forgetting about the
Keeps user informed
about the status of
Greater chances of
consuming food before
Existing solutions only involve
better packaging and longer
lasting products but don’t
address the core problem.
Food expiry reminder
devices are not used by
common consumers yet.
% of food
and after the
use of the
Climate Change, agriculture and food security (CCAFS).
(2013). Why markets need to be part of a climate-smart
solution. Retrieved from http://ccafs.cgiar.org
US environmental protection agency. (2013). Reducing food
waste. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/foodrecovery/
WasteMINZ. (2013). report on food waste in nz 2013. retrieved
Zerowaste NZ. (2014). Environmental risks and harm to human
health. Retrieved from http://www.zerowaste.co.nz/
Bel. (2013). Reducing food waste. Retrieved from