(CONSUMER CENTER NORTH RHINE WESTPHALIA)
FIELD OF WORK
To prevent food waste, the consumer center wants to launch a gesture project to make it easier for diners in restaurants to take home leftover plates.
In online workshops, the idea of the MitnehmGeste was further developed and transformed into a project plan.
The takeaway gesture aims to make taking food and leftover plates to restaurants a recognized social routine, thus preventing food waste.
The idea of the MitnehmGeste had been in the drawer of the NRW Consumer Center (VZ) for some time. A team from the VZ submitted the concept to the nationwide "Society of Ideas" competition organized by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and advanced to the next round, in which MTS was assigned as a development partner. MTS conducted three "rapid prototyping" workshops with the VZ team, which included a systemic analysis of restaurant visits and the development of further project plans for the MitnehmGeste during the course of the competition.
From the VZ concept paper:
Approximately 1.7 million tons of food waste are generated in the restaurant industry each year-zirka 24 kilograms per guest. Together we can do something about it. That's why the NRW Consumer Center is proposing the takeaway gesture as a social innovation. With the takeaway gesture, restaurant visitors can say quickly, easily and wordlessly: "I would like to take my leftover food with me. Please wrap it up."
Food waste is a major problem of our time. The fact that around one third of all food produced worldwide is not consumed but thrown away is unacceptable for ethical and ecological reasons. That is why Germany committed to halving food losses and waste along the entire value chain by 2030 as part of the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the National Strategy against Food Waste launched by the Federal Ministry of Food in February 2019, Germany even wants to become a pioneer in the fight against food waste. This ambitious goal can only be achieved together with all actors* from politics, business and consumption.
The new gesture will close the barrier gap in the catering industry that has so far led to large quantities of edible food being disposed of. Existing campaigns such as "Restlos genießen" can have a better impact. The idea complements existing measures and ensures that they become more widespread in society. Ecologically sound containers for taking away food, such as the "Beste-Reste-Box" (Best Leftovers Box) developed as part of the "Restlos genießen" campaign, will be successful thanks to the MitnehmGeste. This improves the image of catering establishments and enables them to respond to the needs and wishes of an increasingly sustainably oriented clientele. At the same time, costs for the professional disposal of leftovers can be reduced.