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The 10 best circular apps for zipping your food waste

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

New circular tools are trending worldwide: Apps for reducing food waste.

I’ve already talked about the problems with food waste and how circular packaging can help.

Now, it’s time to spice up our food security strategy with some high-tech seasoning.

Food technology wizards have developed an app-etite for solutions to food waste.

So, make some room in your smartphone's belly to swallow some digital treats.


1. Olio

2. Too Good To Go

3. Karma

4. Tekeya

5. NoWaste

6. Kitche

7. barePack

8. Giki (“Get Informed, Know your Impact”)

9. Algramo

10. Refill

1. Olio

If you’re after a universal solution to the problems with food waste, look no further.

Olio’s free sharing application has spread like butter on toast. It’s currently being used in 51 countries worldwide.

Following a social design for circular economy, the app connects you with your famished neighbours so that you can give them your unwanted or excess food.

Whenever you’ve got a leftover, just take a shot of it and post it on the app. Once you set up the pick up location (your place or somewhere public), the most hungry user will reach out to you and come to collect it.

Taking from the rich (in food) to give to the poor, Olio is like a modern Robin Hood, or Food, with no stealing involved.

Although there’s a section for on-sale food, everything else is free!

Based on a recent study, in less than 2 years the peer-to-peer food-sharing app has saved up to 156 tons of carbon dioxide. This is the carbon footprint of charging around 19 million smartphones!

Olio's food rescue app accomplishes a two-fold mission. Reducing food waste (and its carbon footprint) while strengthening the local community.

Zipping mode: Food rescue

Carbon footprint saved: 19 million smartphones’ charge

Available in: 51 countries

Download on: Google Play or App Store


2. Too Good To Go

This company “came app” with a luscious idea on how to reduce food waste in restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops and supermarkets.

Unlike Olio, this app lets you buy unsold meals at the end of the day for a discounted price. It’s not free but it’s still a fair deal!

The fun thing is you won’t know what you get until you pick up what they call a “Magic Bag”. But that makes it even more app-ealing!

Too Good To Go estimated that each of the mysterious meals you get will reduce as much CO2 as that released by charging your smartphone 422 times!

While not as cosmopolitan as Olio, the Too Good To Go anti-food waste app can be used in 12 nations across Europe.

If you happen to be around there, join their movement and become a food waste warrior!

Zipping mode: Food rescue

Carbon footprint saved: 422 smartphones’ charge

Available in: 12 countries (Europe only)

Download on: Google Play or App Store

Credit to Too Good To Go

3. Karma

If you still want to get eco-friendly bargain meals but don't like surprises, you should go for Karma then.

Unlike when using Too Good To Go, you’ll know exactly what you’ll order.

Once you register for the app, with a few clicks you can browse and follow your favourite eateries which they’ll give you a buzz as leftover deals become available.

But not just already-cooked food goes to waste.

Besides restaurants, cafes and bakeries, Karma is going to the root of the food loss problem.

The Swedish company is giving a new life to the so-called “ugly” fruits & veggies which would otherwise be thrown away by groceries and end up in a landfill.

You can tap into the app potential to locate the nearest Karma-friendly grocery and rescue the "imperfect" soon-to-expire produce from the store deli or from a pink Karma smart fridge.

Ugly food may be imperfect in shape or colour, but they’ve got the same nutritional value and taste sustainably beautiful!

After becoming viral in Sweden, Karma peacefully invaded the UK domain in 2018.

Since then, around 2,000 outlets, including Coco di Mama, Fabrique and Island Poke, joined in, making Karma one of the most popular food waste apps in London.

Since it was founded in 2016, Karma food recovery mission has avoided 1,800 tonnes of CO2 from leaking into the air. That’s the carbon footprint of charging 200 million smartphones!

Zipping mode: Food rescue

Carbon footprint saved: 200 million smartphones’ charge

Available in: UK (Brighton and London), France (Paris and Toulouse), Sweden

Download on: Google Play or App Store


4. Tekeya

In the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region alone, each person wastes a burger flipping 250 kg of food per year!

Tekeya is closing the gap (and the loop) between food suppliers and consumers pretty much the same way as Too Good To Go does.

Like Karma, Tekeya also saves the “ugly” produce from a high-carbon trip to landfill.

However, compared to the previous anti-food waste apps, Tekeya has got a social zipping element. That’s because you can also donate food surplus and imperfect produce to charities, with 75 certified organisations already on board.

Featured as a case study in the Circularity Gap Report 2020, the Egyptian startup’s circular economy initiative avoided 20 tons of CO2 emissions. As much as that released by charging your phone more than 2 million times!

Zipping mode: Food rescue

Carbon footprint saved: 2 million smartphones’ charge

Available in: Egypt (and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 2022)

Download on: Google Play or App Store

Credit to Tekeya

5. NoWaste

All of the apps above buzz around the same concept: Food rescue from eating places.

But how can you reduce food waste at home?

NoWaste will help with that.

How does that work?

Think of a food inventory smart assistant.

Whenever you buy something, you scan its barcode to record it onto the app. You can then create a list of what you’ve got left in the freezer, fridge and pantry.

Basically, you’ll have a picture of your virtual kitchen!

Plus, you can order items by expiry date and be notified when they’re about to go off. That way you’ll know what to cook/eat first.

Tracking your stock, you’ll avoid unnecessary food shopping, saving both food waste and money.

On top of that, using the meal planner feature you’ll be organized throughout the week so you won’t stress out at the last minute figuring out what to make for dinner.

And for a bit of healthy competition, you can compare your savings with other users.

Zipping mode: Food inventory optimisation

Carbon footprint saved: n/a

Available in: UK

Download on: Google Play or App Store

6. Kitche

After hearing how much food and money his friends were throwing away, the Kitche founder,

Alex Vlassopulos, had a (kitchen) light bulb moment.

Using his smart tool, you could save up to £630 off your annual food shopping bill.

That’d be plenty of extra fancy dinners! But what’s the trick?

With a similar approach to NoWaste, Alex is bringing the digital flavour inside your kitchen a byte...or bite...above.

Instead of scanning each single item like with NoWaste, Kitche lets you snap the full receipt of your shopping.

The app will then sort out what you bought by dairy, snacks, and other categories.

So, now you’re faced with the ultimate challenge. Making a meal!

Don’t panic! Just download Kitche. The app will be your personal chef assistant too!

You can fish from the app database, offering around 10,000 recipes for inspiration, including vegan and vegetarian options.

Besides managing your stock, the app was designed to help you spot and correct your wrong habits when handling food.

For instance, Kitche gives you access to a library of articles about how to reduce food waste at your place.

Also, you can track whatever you toss away so you have a tangible figure of the food you’re wasting and how much is costing you.

And more cool features are coming up soon. Games, impact badges.

Get ready to turn your food chores into a fun part of your day!

Zipping mode: Food inventory optimisation

Carbon footprint saved: n/a

Available in: UK

Download on: Google Play or App Store