The REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest received over fifty project submissions from across Europe. 47 Finalists were selected to participate in voting for the Public Award. The public voting period started on the 1 February 2017 and ended on 28 February 2017. The Public Award winner joins two winners selected by the jury. They have the opportunity to present their projects at the REFRESH Food Waste 2017 Conference on 18 May 2017 in Berlin.

The content of the Public Award submissions is the sole responsibility of the submitting organisations and does not reflect the position of the REFRESH Project or the European Commission.

Hello, I am Ioana Man from Aiud, Romania, and this is how our project called in English “Zero Waste” came to be: With the help of Society for Responsible Consumption, I took part in a youth exchange-called “Think global, act Local” organized by Eufemia in Torino, Italy, and it is there I got the idea to of reducing food waste by giving it to the needy. People were talking about “food waste” projects all the time so when I returned to Romania, I met with Diana Calin, from Society for Responsible Consumption and told her about my idea of a “Zero Waste” project in Aiud, my hometown.

17,944 votes

“Enhancing the existing value of people and goods”, this is the mission of Les reToqués, project launched in August 2016 by Anne Charlotte Vivant We buy the local production of fruits and vegetables that doesn't fit the standards of sale. In return for this non-standard production, we remunerate the producers at a fair price that covers their costs, to encourage them to harvest all their production. These fruits and vegetables are then transformed by a dehydration process to create healthy and delicious snacks without any additive (sugar, salt, oil etc.).

10,855 votes

We all know that fighting the food waste problem cannot be solved by the snap of a finger – but perhaps we can make a real difference with a swipe of a finger? That’s what discount retailer NETTO set out to test in early 2016 together with fødevareBanken, a leading Danish food bank. Since 1981 NETTO has had one purpose: to give everyone the ability to prepare great meals with quality food ingredients at low prices.

9,864 votes

The Food Fair is a national platform and management system designed to facilitate food donations between professional actors of the food sector and recipients like social organizations or new food entrepreneurs in Circular Economy. The Food Fair matches and connects the donor's unsold food into a new sustainable values chains relying on a next generation collaborative logistics.

3,119 votes

Foodsharing Austria is a non-profit organisation that has been fighting food waste since 2012. It raises awareness of the massive food waste on all levels ranging from producers to consumers. Through media reports, presentations, political and non-political campaigns as well as its practical approach to rescuing and sharing food, foodsharing Austria and Germany demonstrates how easy it is to tackle the issue of food waste. The theoretical approach focuses on raising awareness of food waste and the responsibility each of us bears for the loss of nearly half of the world’s food production.

2,121 votes

We have built a sustainable distillery with the mission of working with local farmers to mitigate food waste and educate consumers by fermenting and distilling quality produce that would otherwise be waste.

1,703 votes

Our technology can cut household food waste by a half, an epidemic costing Europe €98bn per year and growing, all through a simple smartphone application. Household food waste occurs for 2 main reasons; too much is purchased and forgotten. Or too much is cooked and thrown away. THAW Technology’s Use-By-Mate is the answer, the food and life assistant fighting the food waste epidemic. Our app gives; Notifications of unused soon to expire food, prompting to use or freeze the produce about to expire.

1,587 votes

Foodlist will bring together people that want to reduce food waste in Europe and the rest of the world. We will achieve this by sharing information about where to find food that approaches best before or expiration date. Food heroes will buy the food before it becomes food waste. Foodlist will also make donation of unsold food much easier and convenient for stores and work as a matchmaker between stores and charities. The firm belief of Foodlist is that we need to create a mass movement of people that also buys the available goods in the stores that is close to expiration date.

1,566 votes

We represent Repair Café Cluj and Casa de Cultura Permanenta,2projects of socio-economical innovation in Cluj-Napoca(Romania).Through these projects we are developing models of circular economy,supporting local producers of healthy food and working towards the change of public perception on waste/trash as per the permacultural saying“There is no such thing as waste, only good things in the wrong place.”One of the subjects that we tackle is Food Waste.

1,337 votes

COMERSO is a turnkey solution to fight against the food wastage. The company offers a solution which takes responsibility for administrative, fiscal, organisational and logistical aspects related to the donation of perishable goods to the organisations. This is the first logistic and digital operator of unsold goods optimisation address to companies and free for food aid organisations. The company uses all the new technologies to rationalise each step of the collection and guarantee the best conditions of delivery in the quickest way.

1,235 votes

The vision of MealSaver is a waste-less food system. We want to reach this by creating easy, environmentally and economically viable alternatives to wasting food. The MealSaver App connects restaurant owners and consumers in this fight against food waste. Partner restaurants offer their left-over meals at discounted prices to App users. The MealSaver App shows users the restaurants in proximity, as well as the pick-up times for meals. A portion costs between two to four Euros and can be bought through the App.

1,127 votes

PENNY Naturgut Bio-Helden (“Organic Heroes”) are grown naturally and have the same superpowers as conventionally standardized fruits and vegetables. Since April 25th 2016 PENNY offers a variety of organic fruits and vegetables that might look unusual at first sight – in some cases the tomatoes’ size can vary, or the shape of a cucumber does not fulfill the norm. But as long as they are grown naturally and 100% organic, those oddballs are just as packed with energy and just as tasty as their fellow fruits and vegetables.

1,122 votes

Perfect portioning of pasta, rice and couscous is easier than ever, with Eetmaatje. Launched by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre in 2014, this unique tool helps home cooks measure the perfect portion size.

What is Eetmaatje?

Eetmaatje is a measuring cup that indicates portion sizes instead of grams or millilitres, making it easy to cook precisely the right amounts of pasta or rice. Use Eetmaatje for all grains and pastas (including spaghetti, using the circles on the bottom) and water.

Why Eetmaatje?

809 votes

The Eco Living course is a three-week course and is comprised of two elements, reuse textile/paper and reduce food waste. To draw the participants to the threshold of acknowledging food waste, the project follows WRAP’s process of measuring food waste before and after the intervention. The basic template for the training has been developed from WRAP’s ‘Love food hate waste’ campaign. What is unique about this course is the process of engaging itself.

806 votes

How can each one of us, through drinking a smoothie, do its part to improve our environmental impact and become an “acting consumer”? Join 2nd Life: this initiative aims at creating a positive impact on the environment, by offering smoothies and soups, as a smart way to fight against food waste. At 2nd Life, we strongly believe that only the collective strength will make the difference to improve our environmental impact.

764 votes

The Hexpirons are ‘Smart’ fridge magnets that monitor the expiration of household foods. The devices use visual cues to warn consumers as to when their foods are close to expiry. After a food shop, the food information is sent to the devices and they become activated. Initially, the lights on each individual Hexpiron turn green and gradually change to red over a certain time period, depending on the food, to signify the food expiring.

686 votes

As humans we waste far too much food. In Holland we waste about 5 billion euros on food; 200 million tons per year. Roughly speaking about 1/3 of our worldwide food production is wasted and that’s a disgrace since we know that 750 billion people don’t have enough food. ‘De Verspillingsfabriek’ (The Waste Factory) is located in Veghel and is the first large scale initiative that gives an answer to this huge foodwaste. De Verspillingsfabriek is making delicious soups and sauces out of wasted raw materials (mainly vegetables and fruits).

663 votes

PHENIX provides businesses with waste reduction services and raises the potential of their waste. Using an innovative digital application & a range of B2B services and tools, PHENIX facilitates the second life of products as in-kind donations to charities, animal feed (for food unfit for human consumption), compost or material to produce biogas. PHENIX is a creator of recovery channels mostly for food but also for nonfood products that were intended to destruction.

567 votes

kcf.keepcornwallfed. tackling food waste to feed food poverty, we are located in one of the most food poverty areas in the UK but the same area has high food waste, we will use the two to help one another. We have pledged to feed 5000 people in food poverty by the end of 2017.just us two chefs who have converted a old horsebox into a pop up kitchen which we will serve paying customers at events or on the beach. for every meal we sell we will donate and prepare a meal back to those who need it. This will engage the public in what we do and by eating with us you become one of the 5000.

539 votes

A platform where restaurants and other food service providers can sell surplus portions that they have prepared in advance but haven't been able to sell during the day. The end users get inexpensive, good and fast food to eat at home.

477 votes

Lipor is a waste management company that manages 500000t of waste every year, 23% of which is food waste. Everyday we struggle to eliminate food waste from our system by implementing food waste prevention projects, with great accession of our citizens. We believe that food waste in restaurants will be a problem of the past in a near future, but there is still much to do. Dose Certa project (The right portion project) is able to reduce food waste in restaurants up to 30%. EMBRULHA.

467 votes

Our project aims to increase awareness in our community of reducing food waste and using surplus food. We lead by example to show what is possible and achievable for each of us at home and in business. Part of Transition Bro Gwaun’s Surplus Food Project, Transition Cafe opened in June 2013, in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales. It currently stops an average of 1000 kilos of food from being thrown away every month. We collect food from local businesses and have donations from allotments and people's gardens or house clearances too.

455 votes

OLIO is a free app tackling the problem of good food being thrown away by connecting neighbours with each other and with local shops & cafes so that surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. Users (consumers, OLIO volunteers or independent businesses) simply snap a picture of their surplus food and add it to OLIO, where neighbours receive customised alerts and can request anything that takes their fancy. Pick-up then takes place at the home/store, an OLIO Drop Box, or another agreed location.

450 votes

Born out of a desire to offer a unique culinary experience while reducing food waste, Green G are both delicious and environmentally friendly waffles. More than just average waffle, Green G is made with organic vegetables, which would be normally thrown out due to their less than perfect appearance. 100% organic and made out of 70% to 80% of veggies, each waffle contains a delicious vegetable and an exciting herb or spice twist. Here are examples of some savory recipes: carrot & coriander, butternut & cinnamon, zucchini & mint.

377 votes

We are Taste Before You Waste, a non-profit foundation focussing on food waste at consumer level and striving for a more sustainable and fair food system. While the pressure of agriculture on the ecosystem may be justifiable as a necessary measure to feed all people, it certainly is not to produce unnecessary waste while other humans are left to starve. In the process of urbanisation, we have become physically and emotionally disconnected with our food - the time, energy, and resources that go into it.

300 votes

Dutch consumers daily discard nearly 450.000 loaves of bread; valuable bread that doesn't belong in the streets or in our bins. Nearly 80 percent of the trash in our public space is bread. Moreover, bread on the streets means sick birds, social discontent, and an overpopulation of rats in the streets! Broodnodig*, our partners and the citizens of Rotterdam are taking action. Together we reduce, reuse and recycle breadwaste!  

284 votes

We ask people to bring their green veggie or fruit leftovers to our pigs to reduce the food waste and in the process spare human food like corn, soy and grains, we otherwise feed to the pigs. 

283 votes

In the Fresh Demo project all effort goes to the most prioritized level of the food recovery hierarchy: source reduction. The Fresh Demo project combines an innovative ultrasonic humidification technology with natural acidifiers to preserve quality and freshness of fruits and vegetables along the entire post-harvest supply chain and contribute to food waste reduction. In fact this is just the imitation of the natural process of mist formation.

238 votes

Karma helps restaurants and cafés reduce food waste. Instead of throwing surplus food away they can now sell it through Karma. The consumers buy food directly in the app as take-away and get high quality food for less. We have early proof of concept in Stockholm and plan to expand city-by-city, first in Sweden, then Europe, then the US. It’s easy to sell as we generate a new revenue stream and great PR for the customer, and offer high quality food for less money for the consumer. Customer problem — Globally we waste 1.3 bn tonnes of food every year of a value of 750 billion USD.

222 votes

Due to rapid growth of the world population, reducing food waste is one of the mankind’s most urgent tasks. One of the main reasons of the food waste, both in the dining section and the retail section, is that the prepared doesn’t get sold until closing time or that the produces and products can’t be sold until their expiration date; this means that energy and time go into waste, and in addition during the process of the waste itself, dangerous gases get into the air which can harm the greenhouse effect. The redinner application offers a solution for all these problems.

214 votes

It is critical that our food systems innovate to deal with uncertainty around food security in the face of climatic changes. The diversity of experimentation and creativity to reduce food waste, enhance food security and build strong sustainable communities is staggering, but experiments are often fragmented, with enterprises working in isolation and not benefitting from the wealth of idea and experiences that are emerging around the world.

210 votes

The awareness on food waste has been growing for about a century but has picked up momentum in the past decade, especially with initiatives like Love Food Hate Waste and Hugh’s War on Waste in the UK, and #çasuffitlegachis in France, and the creation of different projects and campaigns against waste. In fact, more and more people understand that we need to sustainably manage our planet’s resources and ecosystems and it is opening a market for new technologies that aims to reduce food waste.

199 votes

We’re Wastewatchers. We fight food waste in the hospitality branche, for example: Hotels, hospitals, business canteens and elderly homes. The hospitality branche in the Netherlands stands for approximately €1 billion food waste every year. We offer our clients an online tool and consultancy. We help them to register, to analyse and to reduce food waste. Our users use our tool daily and register the amount of food they have produced, the amount of food they have wasted and how many customers they had that particular day.

194 votes

Wonky - the tasty way to rescue food. Wonky will bring tasty & healthy products full of rescued veggies on the market. Giving the food surplus of the food industry in Flanders (to begin with) a second life, Wonky will tackle the food waste problem.

186 votes

A template for a journal which will allow restaurants to easily log their waste by quantity and type, in order to identify their commonly wasted foods and develop a response.

170 votes

PerfoLid is a packaging system that provides reclosable trays for fresh fruit and vegetables with significant shelf life extension, both at retail as well as at the consumer. The system reduces food waste, keeps fruits and vegetables fresher and saves money!

161 votes

Boroume (“We Can”) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce food waste and to fight malnutrition in Greece. Through our “Saving & Offering Food” program we save more than 18.000 portions of food on a daily basis from many sources and we offer them to charities that help people who are facing food insecurity. Our actions help the most vulnerable in our society as well the environment by reducing organic food waste.

156 votes

The Journey of Food is an interactive eLearning module. The module looks across the food chain at what its being done, and can be done to reduce food (and packaging) waste. The journey starts by looking at sustainable agriculture and farming and moves on to see how manufacturing food waste can be reduced and what supermarkets and retail establishments are doing too.

126 votes

In the Netherlands, €4 billion worth of good food is wasted every year. The supermarkets' share in this is €400 million. European supermarkets and consumers waste over 42% of the available food. In the western world, we consume too much food. If we continue on the road we are on now, we will need three worlds to provide for everybody in the future.This is why we say STOP FOOD WASTE! NoFoodWasted has created a solution against food waste: the Afgeprijsd app.

101 votes

Instock turns food surplus into delicious meals and products. While we (Selma, Bart, Merel and Freke) were working at Albert Heijn, we were confronted with the unsold products at the end of the day… We came together to develop a way to tackle this problem. We presented our plan during ‘the Best Idea of Young Ahold’ competition and won! With support of Albert Heijn we started our social enterprise Instock. Every day our ‘food rescue drivers’ collect food that would otherwise be wasted. Think of surplus meat and fish, imperfect fruit and vegetables or day-old bread.

99 votes

On 1 February 2016 Gemidan Ecogi received a European Union Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) statement. The issue of the statement marked the culmination of 4 years work by Gemidan Ecogi to develop a new high performing food waste pre-treatment technology (Ecogi). This award acts to recognise the company’s commitment to ‘raising the bar’ in the optimisation of food waste pre-treatment as well as all the hard work that has gone into the development of Ecogi. Ecogi has undergone a rigorous continuous improvement programme and robust independent performance monitoring.

99 votes

Skånemejerier breaks new ground with a novel and unique packaging solution. The new package is easy to fold, making it simple to empty completely and get the last drops of the yoghurt or sour milk. Moreover, when recycled, the folded package takes up less space. Many consumers find it difficult to empty a package of yoghurt or sour milk completely, especially if the content is as creamy as consumers usually desire. To fold and squeeze a package is oftentimes messy, and not always simple.

90 votes

CogZum is a project with a goal of creating a line of software and hardware products that help households organize supermarket shopping and stop domestic food waste. First product is an iPhone app, due to be released December/January. With CogZum users can build digital shopping lists with dating information for each product easier that any other app. A list with all consumables in their homes helps with planning and tracking best by time for all perishable items. Product creation assistance, expiration notifications, food waste report and much more are part of CogZum app.

88 votes

Eco-Safe Digester® is a simple technology that eliminates food waste on-site, using natural microorganisms. Food waste is digested and converted into wastewater that is safe to dispose to a standard drain. There is no waste to store or transport, no residual solids to handle or manage, and no extra handling is required. The Eco-Safe Digester helps not only to reduce waste collection costs but also helps improve recycling rates by diverting food waste from the waste stream.

61 votes

A lot of agrifood waste and by-products are highly perishable due to their high moisture content (>90%). This complicates the potential valorization of these biomass fractions. Immediate processing is required. Sometimes the available volumes are too small or scattered to be worth investing. Therefore it's of utmost importance to further investigate energy-efficient, mild innovative processing technologies that allow to stabilize these valuable feedstock in a sustainable way.

60 votes

1.3 billion tons of food, worth ~1 trillion US$, are wasted globally per year. 40% of that food can be saved. Sharecy empowers foodsaving for businesses, charities and private individuals. Through an efficient mobile and web app and a powerful backend as an innovative and comprehensive digital marketplace solution, we will match conventional food businesses with food saving business or organisations and facilitate their cooperation to save resources, CO2 emissions and money.

29 votes

We are an up-and-coming NGO rescuing fresh produce from the start of the food supply chain, and distributing them among community-run neighbourhood centers in Madrid, where 2/3 of the produce wholesale business of Spain is taking place.

26 votes