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Berlin rewards efforts to eliminate food waste with 5,000 euros

Berlin rewards efforts to eliminate food waste with 5,000 euros

The first „Berliner Lebensmittelretter:in 2021“ award was given to the "foodsharing Berlin" project

For the first time, the city of Berlin has given a prize for efforts to reduce food waste. On Thursday, 15 April 2021, the "foodsharing Berlin" project won the "Berliner Lebensmittelretter: in 2021" award. The prize, endowed with 5,000 euros by the Senate Department of Justice, Consumer Protection, and Anti-Discrimination, will be given every two years in the future.

Numerous governmental and non-governmental organisations in Berlin have pledged to take steps to eliminate food waste. Measures to eliminate food waste are included in the coalition agreement 2016-2021.

Another initiative agreed upon by the Berlin Senate in 2019 is the adoption of a zero-waste plan. The new waste management strategy 2020-2030 would emphasise waste prevention, reuse, and recycling. Berlin is becoming a Zero Waste City by reusing instead of throwing away.

“In Germany, incredible amounts of excellent food end up in the garbage every year. This harms the environment, causes enormous economic damage and is also unacceptable from an ethical point of view. This makes the commitment of the numerous initiatives against food waste all the more important. It is impressive how 'foodsharing Berlin' was able to mobilise thousands of volunteers to fight food waste”, commented Dr. Dirk Behrendt, Senator for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination.

Zero waste management through volunteers

'Foodsharing Berlin' was founded in 2012 and more than 6,000 tonnes of food have been rescued in Berlin since then. Volunteers may coordinate activities by using a web-based platform. More than 10,000 people are already participating in the German capital. Surplus food is collected by volunteers from bakeries, supermarkets, and other businesses.

It is then distributed for free, for example, to friends and neighbours, in homeless shelters, through the foodsharing.de website, and through publicly available shelves and refrigerators, known as "equal dividers." Other countries, such as Austria and Switzerland, are also involved in the project.

A total of 18 projects and initiatives ran for the award. A five-person jury, which included the chairwoman of the Berlin city cleaning company, Stephanie Otto, and the founder and chairwoman of the Berliner Tafel, Sabine Werth, selected the winner.

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