Too good to go 'Magic Box' effective in the fight against food waste

The Too good to go project seems to be an effective measure in the fight against food waste. Around 1 million Dutch people are signed up to the project. They receive a Magic Box containing food items that are still good to eat, but can no longer be sold, for around a third of the original price of the items. That amounts to 1.5 million 'saved' meals, that would otherwise have ended up in the trash, NOS reports.

Wageningen University & Research Center studied the effect of the Magic Box. "It showed that buyers actually eat 90 percent of the content. Too good to go is thus an effective idea to combat food waste", researcher Sanne Stroosnijder said to NOS. "If something remains, only 8 percent of people throw the food away. They often share remnants wit family and friends, or use it the next day or freeze it."

The main reason for people to sign up for the Magic Box is because they are annoyed by food waste (35 percent). Around 25 percent said they like the surprise effect - you don't know what the box contains until you open it. And 20 percent said the reduced price played a big role in their decision to sign up. 

The Netherlands currently counts 2,500 Too good to go pick-up locations at supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and bakeries. Interested consumers can sign up via an app. The app also shows exactly which restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries and the like are participating in the project. 

Food waste is still a massive problem in the Netherlands. Earlier this year, Wageningen University researchers revealed that the entire food chain in the Netherlands throws away around 5 million kilograms of food every day.