New generation supermarkets: 100% second life!

Posted on 23 November 2017.

Recover food or items unfit for sale from dustbins and put them back in the consumer circuit is the proposal of many supermarkets which are developing all over the world.

In France, one person generates 354 kg of household waste per year.

Furniture, clothes, appliances, food... our dustbins are brimming with waste. In France, one person generates 354 kg of household waste every year . The World Bank evaluates waste at four billion tons a year globally. In addition, many items and food are thrown away although they could still be used or eaten.
Among the many initiatives combating this enormous waste, a new generation of supermarkets is emerging. With "100% second life" products that are recycled or recovered from dustbins.


From Copenhagen to Sydney

In Copenhagen, Denmark, WeFood was the first supermarket of its kind to come into existence in 2016. The brand only sells damaged products (torn packaging, mislabeled products, imperfect fruit and vegetables, etc.), usually considered unfit for sale, and products that have passed their expiry date but can still be consumed. Recovered by volunteers, they are sold 50% cheaper and the profits are donated to a charity.
Other European cities quickly followed suit. In Leeds, north England, The Real Junk Food Project's anti-waste activist group sells products recovered from the dustbin at a free price. The customer serves themself and pays the price they want or can. In Germany, The Good Food store, based on the same principle, opened in February 2017.
In the southern hemisphere, in Sydney, Australia, the OzHarvest supermarket stands out as the only food recovery organization in the country. The brand centralizes the food surpluses of a number of donors in the region: individuals, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, businesses, farmers, airlines, etc. Food and essential products (hygiene, cleaning, etc.) are made available to people in difficulty, also at free price. This is an initiative combatting food waste and its negative effects on the environment while having a strong social impact.

When it comes to recycling, Sweden is the best. It proved this again in 2015 with the opening of ReTuna Återbruksgalleria in Eskilstuna, north of Stockholm. This is the world's first shopping mall that only sells recycled or upcycled products: decorations, furniture, clothes, bikes, tools, toys, etc. The items are collected by the town hall and then stored in a warehouse where social workers give them a second life by repairing or transforming them.

Restoring value to waste

This shopping mall already has fourteen shops as well as an organic restaurant, a conference room, and an educational center in which Do It Yourself workshops are organized. Participants can learn how to make their own shampoo, detergent, or deodorant to limit packaging waste because the goal of ReTuna Återbruksgalleria's founders is to contribute to a durable change in attitudes and consumption habits. The shopping mall currently employs fifty people.
The food waste battle has begun!
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Wecyclers – or how to encourage people to start recycling
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