Toward less waste?

Waste is what happen when Japanese stores focus on visually perfect products. Fruits are a symbol of this obsession but it also affects other product categories.

A combini revolution

Mid-May, 7-Eleven announced its stores will start offering discounts on products (bentos, sandwiches, pastries, etc.) whose consumption date is getting near. Instead of throwing them away.

What surprises me most in this news is that this has been common practice in supermarkets for decades: to decrease throwing away goods, especially food which is prepared on site during the day, discount from 10 to 50% are progressively introduced from 5PM.

A good practice which was, until now, not implemented in combinis. Moreover, some close-to-date products picked by the customers were withdrawn by the cashier, thrown away, and replaced.

Knowing how these best before dates are at best “educated guessed” by the maker, it is all the more disappointing. Calbee for example, recently announced having extended the best before date for its flagship products by 2 months. Without changing anything.

Reduce waste: a Japan Food Bank mission

Facing an increasing number facing poverty, Japan Food Bank tries to distribute food to those in need.

They are also publishing some statistics on the topic.

Etat du Gachis au Japon en 2015

If most food waste comes from producers, households are the ones throwing away most still consumable products.

I would be interested in knowing what actions could be done to gather this food.

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