Food sharing app Olio has now launched in Ireland, with consumers being urged to sign up to prevent food wastage.
Olio connects neighbours to give away unwanted food and other items that may otherwise end up in landfill, estimated at more than 19,000 tonnes a week.
Ahead of its official rollout in Ireland, word of mouth has already generated more than 36,000 sign-ups, with users giving away 10,500 food portions.
Dublin is the most active county, followed by Cork, Kildare, Galway and Wicklow.
Olio co-founder and chief executive officer Tessa Clarke was inspired to build the app in the UK five years ago after struggling to find anyone to take unwanted food from her fridge when she was moving house.
“People in Ireland have an innate sense of community and food is valued,” she said.
“They also like to give and care about each other and the planet.
“By enabling people to easily share more and waste less, we aim to help transform our throw-away society into a giveaway society.”
Users of the free app upload a photo and description, plus details about where and when to collect it.
Others can then request these by searching or browsing through the listings, where they will see what’s available nearby.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data shows an estimated one million tonnes of food are wasted in Ireland each year – costing households €700 a year and collectively equal to 3.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Research by Zero Waste Scotland claims that sending just 1kg of food to a landfill produces the same carbon emissions as landfilling 25,000 500ml plastic bottles.
In five years, Olio has acquired more than five million community members worldwide.
The Big 4 grocer partnered with Olio in August last year aiming to provide unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community and prevent it from going to waste.
with PA Wires