Concerned About Shops Throwing Away Too Much Food - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Concerned About Shops Throwing Away Too Much Food

Published May 16, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Entirely too much food goes to waste in Iceland, as some intrepid university students recently demonstrated.

Vísir reports that design students of the Iceland Academy of the Arts recently paid a visit to dumpsters behind several Reykjavík grocery stores and bakeries. Within them, they found a veritable treasure trove of unspoiled, perfectly edible food, evidence of which they made into the following video:

“We’re talking about a third of all food produced in Iceland ending up in the trash, and more than 90% of that goes to the landfills,” Björn S. Traustason told reporters.

“It is so tragic that this food, which went on such a long journey to us, ends up in the garbage,” Hulda Einarsdóttir added.

In fact, new research has shown that some 5,800 tonnes of food and drink are thrown out of Reykjavík households every year, valued at about 4.5 billion ISK and amounting to about 48kg per person going to waste.

The wastefulness has been a subject of concern for some time now. A survey conducted by waste management company Sorpa found that about 70% of Icelandic households admit to throwing away a significant portion of food, but food waste is not solely produced by Icelandic households. As reported, supermarkets throw away about one-third of the food they put on their shelves.

Some supermarkets and other food stores have sought to reduce this waste, by either giving food away that has reached its sell-by date, or by selling it for cheap up to several days past “expiration”.


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