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New app Too Good to Go gives customers the opportunity to eat well on the cheap—and fight food waste.
Imagine scoring an excellent meal in one of the most expensive cities in the world for just $3. This month, Too Good to Go—a consumer-facing app and website dedicated to minimizing food waste—will launch in London, giving users the opportunity to order restaurant meals priced from £2 (about $2.60) to a maximum of £3.80 (about $5). Already deployed in Brighton, Leeds, Birmingham, and Manchester, Too Good to Go signs up local eateries who, at the end of the day, post that they have extra food. Customers choose the restaurant, pay a small fee and receive an order confirmation or email receipt, which they then bring to the restaurant to receive a take-out meal. Ahead of the app's launch in London, founder Chris Wilson tells the Evening Standard that they've already signed up 95 restaurants.
"It costs restaurants on average 97p (about $1.30) for every meal they throw away, so we are saving them that expense and giving them extra," Wilson told the paper. "And we provide them with all packaging so they have recyclable and eco-friendly boxes."
Too Good to Go is the latest in a movement across Europe aimed at reducing unnecessary food waste. The company estimates that it has already prevented the equivalent of more than 200 tons of carbon dioxide emissions through salvaging thousands of meals that would have gone to waste over the past six months.
They're not alone in their efforts. Last week, Italy passed a law aimed at curbing food waste by one million tons this year through a system of tax abatements for businesses and farmers donating unwanted food to the needy. Earlier this year, France became the first European country to pass a food waste law, prohibiting supermarkets from disposing of unsold food—they'll be required to donate items to charity instead.