Kitchen Gadgets brought to you by
Kitchen Gadgets brought to you by

Could a big pink fridge help save the world?

Karma has teamed up with Electrolux to bring the first smart food waste fridge to the UK

1y ago

We all know food waste is a huge issue, to the tune of around 1.3 billion tonnes a year. That’s a whopping third of all food produced for human consumption.

Everyone knows something needs to be done about it, and there are more and more companies coming up with ideas and possible solutions.

One of those companies is Karma. Its ‘waste not, want not’ ethos gives consumers the chance to pick up food that would otherwise go to waste from their local favourite restaurants, cafes and kitchens at a 50% discount, via their app.

It started out in Sweden (currently used by 5% of the Swedish population) and is now available in London and Paris. It’s recently reached the milestone of 1m users and more than 2m meals saved from landfill. Which is impressive.

But it’s not just the food collection from restaurants, as the company will be bringing a big, pink smart refrigerator to London.

At Japan Centre Ichiba, Europe’s largest Japanese food hall, the big Electrolux fridge will be integrated with Karma’s app.

It creates a storage and pickup point for unsold food that would otherwise have been thrown away.

How does it work?

Someone makes a purchase through the Karma app and goes to pick up their order from the smart fridge.

The user unlocks the fridge with their phone, which is only unlocked after you’ve bought something.

Rescued items are shown on your order receipt, which you show at the checkout before leaving. Enjoy your rescued food.

There are already Karma/Electrolux fridges in supermarkets in Sweden, and Karma plans to roll out another 100.

While there is a bit of a risk that someone could buy one item, and empty the whole fridge, Karma has said it hasn’t happened yet with the 30 it already has in place. (They're probably concerned about all the bad Karma they'd have coming their way...)

Karma isn’t the only food waste app out there. Denmark’s Too Good to Go and MealPal are also helping to reduce food waste. With Karma and MealPal, you buy an individual item, whereas Too Good to Go gives you a mixed bag of goodies. But in all cases, it’s a, for consumers, the planet and the companies involved.

Now all that needs to happen is growth. More places need to sign up, more cities, and more consumers. There’s no downside really: it just takes time for these things to catch on.

Join In

Comments (11)

  • There's a similar app called OLIO -

      1 year ago
  • Good story, thanks for posting.

    To further reduce waste by spoilage, could a small portable vacuum plastic sealing machine be utilised by the food selling shop peoples, before the food is placed in the fridge ?

    The human race has gained much in terms of technologically advanced productivity.

    But waste is still eroding those gains.

    Improved food protection through better packaging can yield real environmental benefits.

    The Austrian consulting group Denkstatt looked at steak packaged in a vacuum skin instead of the traditional combination of foam tray and film.

    Food waste declined from 34% to 18%,

    This might be a job for Jim Ratcliffe of the petrochemicals / plastics company , Ineos

      1 year ago
  • Some towns have boxes of food that people in need can just come and take and I think thats a great idea too. In our village we have an old phone box that people use as a donation library so perhaps we should start using that for tinned food too.

      1 year ago
  • Quite interesting indeed.

      1 year ago
  • What a brilliant idea

      1 year ago