Every day, tons of perfectly edible, tasty food finishes up in landfill sites. Nowhere in Europe is the problem as bad as it is here in the UK -- especially in London, with its thousands of restaurants.
The Too Good To Go (TGTG) app for Android and Apple aims to tackle this waste by matching hungry users with eateries they might like where, when the staff have finished serving, there is plenty of food left over.
The site opened for business in Brighton at the beginning of June and has already stopped over 600 meals from heading for landfill, according to the company.
The app, which is available for free download through Apple and Android app stores, acts as a link between eateries that have excess food and the customers who are looking for something to eat. Users can place orders to collect unsold meals at a discounted price.
Restaurants, available meal portions, and prices are listed on the app. After a customer makes an order, they can present their receipt at the restaurant at the designated pick-up time, and "fill an eco-friendly TGTG biodegradable takeaway box with the food on offer".
TGTG was the brainchild of co-founders Chris Wilson and Jamie Crummie.
They launched the project in Brighton alongside a soft launch in Leeds where the pair had been students. Brighton was a natural choice for a full scale roll out because "it is synonymous with all things green'", Crummie said.
So how does it work? "The customers order a meal and then picks it up themselves. We are the mediator -- we give the restaurant the platform. That means that instead of the need for a courier, we are encouraging people to get out and walk and that helps give it a kind of a community feel. It gives customers the chance to check out a restaurant they may not have known about too," he added.
"It is not food that has come off somebody's plate", but food "that has been sold within the trading hours of the establishment".
As well as "cutting down waste to help the environment", the TGTG team has integrated a 'pay-it-forward' scheme into the app, that lets users "donate meals to those in need for as little as £1".