Turun Ekotori – Reduction of food waste
In June 2019, a foodstuff exchange place was opened at the Rautakatu store, in order to offer consumers a place to exchange foodstuffs which have become useless for themselves. Otherwise, these products would be in danger of becoming food waste instead of now becoming useful material for someone else. To enable the act, a refrigerator and a shelf for the dry foodstuff have been arranged. Consumers are allowed to bring and pick up groceries for free, which are unopened and there is time left to use them. In addition Ekotori also distributes locally produced excess bread from the Bakery Salonen.
The purpose of the act is twofold: Firstly, Ekotori has wanted to reduce food waste directly and secondly there is a desire to enhance people’s awareness of the food waste issue. In Finnish households, on average 23 kilograms of food waste per capita is produced annually. Food production causes over 20 percent of greenhouse gases related to consumption in general and it causes over 50 percent of Finnish originated eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. If food becomes a waste, all emissions related to food production have been entirely generated for nothing. Therefore all initiatives to diminish food waste and to widen people’s consciousness of the issue are necessary.
Covid 19 pandemic has impacted reductively to the operation of food change point, but 200 boxes of surplus bread are distributed weekly by Ekotori. Due to the action, roughly 10 400 boxes of bread are consumed and not wasted yearly. Average weight of a bread box is 4 kilos, and the reduced amount of food waste in one year is 41 600 kilos.
When consumers bring products to Ekotori’s food exchange place, they are recorded by Ekotori’s personnel. All relevant information, including who, what and when has been brought and who has accepted goods. Suitable products are those which fit for human consumption, which come in unbroken packages and where there is still time of use left, excluding easily perishable goods such as fish and shellfish. Fruits and vegetables can be delivered also without packages. Ekotori’s employees are also allowed to take products from the food exchange.