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Every year, 1.3 billion tons, or one-third of the world's food is wasted. Yet in same breath, we see 815 million people worldwide suffering from hunger, highlighting astounding disparities and inequalities. These disparities have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In China, the food waste generated from restaurants alone above can amount to about 200 million people's rations for an entire year. The food waste issue has further aggravated food security and brought about heavy environmental costs. The carbon footprint of global food waste is equivalent to 3.3 billion tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere each year, accounting for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The annual cost of food waste disposal in China exceeds 400 billion yuan.
To respond to this major challenge, Clear Plate® guides users to practice zero food waste with an innovative model of combining Technology, Charity and Rewards. Clear Plate works as follows. First, users will take pictures of their plates after meals. An AI is used to identify if food has been leftover, and users with clean plates will receive credits. These credits can then be exchanged for gifts, or donated as charity meals for people in need. By offering such rewards, Clear Plate® is able to raise awareness on food waste and incentivise people to address it. Our simple, engaging and easy-to-use app has also effectively facilitated change in individual and community behavior, directly targets food waste at the consumer level. Typically, the food life-cycle begins from feed production and processing, transportation, and food waste ends up at landfills to be incinerated, composted and so on. By reducing food waste, we substantially decrease the amount of emissions generated throughout the life-cycle. We believe that everyone can play an active role to reduce food waste and emissions.
The GHG avoided is measured under the guidance of ISO 14067 and PAS 2050. We account for the full food life cycle from fossil fuels, electricity, fertilization, livestock management, raw material and waste disposal. We use the emission coefficient method (i.e., amount of GHG emissions = activity data × emission factors) to calculate emissions. The activity data is derived from surveys in China, and the emission factors are derived from existing climate literature.