Brussels zoo uses old food from supermarkets to cut down on waste

Global Business

Apples and pears are being rejected by supermarkets, for not looking good enough.

Many big retailers won’t sell misshapen or ugly fruit, and it often goes to waste. But, at Plackendale zoo near Brussels, it’s being fed to the animals.

CGTN’s Elena Casas reports from Brussels.

Brussels zoo uses old food from supermarkets to cut down on waste

Brussels zoo uses old food from supermarkets to cut down on waste

Many big retailers won't sell misshapen or ugly fruit, and it often goes to waste - but here at Plackendale zoo near Brussels, it's being fed to the animals

Follow Elena Casas on Twitter @ElenacMontanez

“Consumers in supermarkets don’t want apples with a bump or a scar on them – so that’s what we get”, Tina Maes an employee at Plackendale, said.

Campaigners want the EU to force retailers to donate all their waste food to charity a law that already exists in France and Italy.

It’s certainly going down well with these hungry elephants.

The seven elephants here eat 100 kilos of food each every single day – much of it apples and pears. The zoo is now receiving 400 kilos of fruit a week that’s been rejected by people.

As well as having to donate out of date but edible produce to charities or food banks, MEPs want supermarkets to take responsibility for encouraging consumers not to throw good food away.

“We have a problem with best before and use by dates, people don’t understand the difference so they throw edible food away, so educational campaigns are very important,” said Biljana Borzan MEP, rapporteur on the EU food waste report.

Retail bodies said supermarkets are already working to reduce waste – and the EU needs to concentrate on rolling back rules that make it harder to give to food banks.

MEPs said their plans will halve the amount of food wasted in the EU by 2030 – that would be 44 million tonnes a year less going to waste.


Shenggen Fan discusses ways to combat food waste

To discuss how countries are tackling global food waste, CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with director general for International Food Policy Research Institute, Shenggen Fan.