If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest. A major issue across the Middle East, food waste costs the UAE alone an estimated $3.5 billion per year. However, a few new stores, platforms, and apps aiming to reduce the food waste in landfills are finding innovative ways to repurpose food for the better.
Launched by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in partnership with Borouge, BAADR is a free app to protect the environment. Designed to change the environmental behaviors of Abu Dhabi adults and the youth and put them at the forefront of driving positive change, BAADR is the first app in the UAE to offer incentives for environmental actions. It will aim to reduce carbon emissions, food waste, and the consumption of single-use items, conserve energy and encourage people to reuse and recycle their products.
Daniel Solomon and John Werner launched the United Arab Emirates’ first app designed to fight food waste and climate change. EroeGo provides an online grocery platform where users can access fresh groceries set to expire and offered at discounted prices. The app also provides a service based on a commission structure, benefiting delivery drivers. EroeGo aligns its mission with the U.N. 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, intending to eradicate hunger and provide basic nutritional education and access to fresh food.
FoodKarma has partnered with restaurants and cafés across the city that have a surplus of food and connects them to eco-conscious foodies, enabling them to enjoy tasty meals at discounted prices, all while doing their bit to help save the planet.
Popular UAE-based supermarket chain Spinneys recently opened its first sustainable store, providing customers with locally sourced produce. Beyond a solar-powered parking lot and its roof-based bee farm, customers at the sustainable grocery store will access a range of edible, non-uniformly shaped fruits and vegetables classified as imperfect produce. To reduce plastic usage, the store will use recyclable packaging and encourage customers to carry their recyclable bags or pay 50 fils per paper bag.
To reduce food waste, Menna Shahin launched TeKeya in 2019. The app allows food providers such as restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets to minimize food waste. Offering users the chance to give free food to charities or sell the food at 50% of its original price, the app gives users an easy way to give back to the less fortunate. In 2020, Tekeya saved over 3,000 meals from being wasted.
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