More local businesses are being encouraged to join an app which helps reduce food waste, following a partnership deal with Wokingham Borough Council. 

Too Good To Go (TGTG) enables shops and restaurants to sell their surplus food items instead of throwing them away, where they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions via incineration or being sent to landfill. 

The council’s executive member for environment, sport and leisure, Cllr Ian Shenton, emphasised that food waste is a “global issue” which requires “urgent attention”. 

In the UK alone, nearly 200,000 tonnes of food was thrown away last year, according to a study by climate charity Wrap – the equivalent of about 476 million meals. 

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At present 110 businesses, including cafes, coffee shops, supermarkets and bakeries, across the borough have joined the app to offer unsold food items to residents for a fraction of the original price. 

Outlets put the items into ‘magic bags’ and list them on the app, where customers can purchase the mystery contents for around a third of the original retail price and pick them up at a set time. 

Wokingham based businesses already signed up to the initiative include Caffe Nero, Greggs, Co-op, Morrisons, Move HQ, Starbucks and Costa Coffee. 

“We are thankful to businesses who have joined the Too Good To Go app for helping reduce the borough’s carbon footprint. I hope to see more businesses on board and make a difference to the environment,” said Cllr Shenton. 

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So far, over 46,000 magic bags that might have otherwise gone into the bin have been sold by Wokingham businesses – equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from 1,310 flights from London to Berlin. 

TGTG have agreed to waive its platform’s administration fees for the first six months if companies sign up through the dedicated webpage by December 31. 

Managing director of TGTG UK and Ireland, Sophie Trueman, hopes the partnership can help “fight food waste” in the borough. 

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“Not only does reducing food waste make good business sense, but it also carries huge benefits for our planet. I can’t wait to see the impact we can make together through this fantastic collaboration.” 

More and more customers are now looking for deals. Since January, the anti-waste app has seen demand for ‘magic bags’ soar as sales grew by more than 100 per cent each month, according to food and drink magazine The Grocer. 

Trends show the public are increasingly lowering their food expenditure as they struggle against the rising cost of living, with overall food inflation hitting 7 per cent this month.