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No more food waste: How to eat ethically in Berlin in 2020

18.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions are produced by food waste in Germany every year. Supermarkets bin 720,000 tonnes of food. 52% of food waste is produced in private households — another study claims it is only 40%. Either way: food waste is a massive issue. Dumpster diving is still illegal here, and the German minister for agriculture doesn’t want to establish a law against binning perfectly edible food as France has recently done.

So what can we do if we want to eat more ethically in 2020? Fortunately there are a few options for Berliners who don’t want to continue with the status quo.

A box with fresh produce and other food products by Sir Plus on the pavement. Sir Plus is a Berlin-based start up combating food waste.
Saving food from the bin can be also be pretty damn tasty (Photo: Sir Plus).

Sir Plus

From the outside, Sir Plus shops look like normal supermarkets. With perhaps an eclectic selection of products. But the ‘Rettermärkte’ (‘rescuer markets’) sell food that’s been sorted by producers, but stored on shelves for a bit too long. Currently, there are three markets across the city, but the startup is growing.


East Side Mall, Tamara-Danz-Straße 11, Friedrichshain
Schloßstraße 94, Steglitz
Karl-Marx-Straße 108, Neukölln


Foodsharing is an initiative that cooperates with supermarket chains and shops. Vetted ‘food savers’ pick up the food and can either keep it, hand it out to other foodsharing.de activists, to friends, or leave it in one of around 30 storing locations in the city called ‘fair-teiler’. More information at foodsharing.de.

Restlos Glücklich

This non-profit association organises workshops and classes for both children and grown-ups and purposely cooks with rejected food products. Their goal is to foster more respect for food and teach the creative and sustainable use of not-so-perfect products. More information on their website.

Too Good To Go

Restaurants often have to bin copious amounts of food just after closing. And that’s where Danish startup Too Good To Go comes in: restaurants register when they have food left over, and subscribers can then pick it up. What they get depends on the restaurant — sometimes it’s a pre-prepared box, sometimes users pick what they want.

Translated by Aida Baghernejad


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