Startups Turning Food Scraps into Beer, Dyes & Fashion

The DailyMail recently reported that Hilton, a global hospitality giant, has embarked on a sustainability journey by introducing a ‘zero waste menu’ across four of its flagship UK hotels. This initiative aims to combat food waste by offering innovative dishes that utilise underused cuts of meat and ingredients that would typically be discarded.

Executive head chef Paul Bates highlights the importance of chefs driving positive change in sustainable dining practices. Through techniques like ‘root-to-shoot’ and ‘nose-to-tail’ cookery, every edible part of animals and vegetables is used, minimising waste commonly seen in the restaurant industry.

Nowadays, more and more people are becoming aware of the issue of food waste, and the need to address it. This is due to the growing concern about sustainability and its impact on the environment.

Fortunately, there are many startups that are taking on this challenge and are coming up with innovative solutions to reduce food waste at every stage of the supply chain. By doing so, they are not only contributing to environmental conservation but also helping to address food security concerns by ensuring that edible food is not wasted and ends up in landfills.


The Scary Truth About Food Waste In The UK


Food waste is a major problem in the UK, and the extent of it is concerning. According to Business Waste, the UK throws away about 9.5 million tonnes of food every year – more than any other European country. This is in stark contrast to the fact that 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling with food poverty.

Food waste is not just a minor inconvenience – it poses serious environmental and socio-economic challenges. When food waste decomposes in landfills, it produces methane gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming. Methane is about 25 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

In addition to the environmental impact, food waste also results in billions of pounds being wasted each year on avoidable food disposal. It is important to address this issue not only to reduce environmental degradation but also to ensure equal access to resources for all members of society.


Why Should We Care About Food Waste?


Food waste is a significant problem that has serious consequences on food security, the environment, and climate change.

By reducing food waste, individuals can help feed families in need, save money, conserve resources, and mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from rotting food in landfills.

The benefits of reducing food waste extend beyond personal finances and include environmental sustainability and societal well-being. Through awareness and action, individuals can play a vital role in addressing this urgent issue and building a more sustainable future for everyone.


Proactive Tips To Waste Less Food


To waste less food, start by planning your meals ahead of time and making a shopping list to buy only what you need. When shopping, check expiration dates and buy only what you can use before it goes bad.

Store food properly to keep it fresh longer, and use leftovers creatively in new meals. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid cooking or serving more than necessary.

Freeze excess food for later use, and compost food scraps instead of throwing them away. Avoid impulse purchases and try to use up what you have before buying more.

By being mindful of your food habits and making small changes, you can reduce waste and save money while helping the environment.


Startups Tackling Food Waste


Luckily, there are startups creatively tackling food waste. These companies are finding unique ways to reduce waste at different stages of the food supply chain. From apps connecting consumers with surplus food from restaurants to businesses repurposing food scraps into new products, these startups are making a difference.

By addressing food waste, they not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also provide economic opportunities and help alleviate food insecurity. Through their initiatives, they demonstrate the potential for positive change in our approach to food consumption and production.


Toast Brewing




Toast Brewing is on a mission to fight food waste while brewing tasty beers that contribute to environmental conservation. Since 2016, they’ve repurposed surplus bread, saving slices that would reach over four times the height of Mount Everest.

By using bread in their brewing process and donating 100% of profits to environmental charities, they’re raising awareness and taking action against food waste and climate change.


Too Good To Go




Too Good To Go, originating in the UK, is a global takeaway food app combating food waste.

Established in 2015, it connects food stores with surplus goods to customers at discounted rates.

With partnerships across Europe, Canada, and the US, the app has saved over 52 million meals globally, significantly reducing food waste and contributing to sustainable consumption practices.







Based in London, SAGES is a pioneering company that repurposes food waste into natural dyes, offering a sustainable solution to the fashion industry.

Their range of 12 vibrant colours, derived entirely from food waste, can be applied to various materials, both natural and synthetic. With a commitment to lower CO2 emissions and achieving high colour strength, SAGES is revolutionising the fashion with food.



Nosh, headquartered in Essex, offers an AI-powered mobile app to assist users in optimising food management and reducing food waste at home.

The app enables real-time tracking of product expiry dates, categorisation of items, and integrated shopping lists. Additionally, Nosh provides recipes based on available ingredients.


Matriark Foods




Matriark Foods makes upcycled pasta sauces, turning surplus vegetables into delicious, climate-friendly products. With 38% of US food wasted, their sauces combat greenhouse gas emissions and resource wastage.

Collaborating with Google Food, they’ve developed innovative upcycled products for food service, inspiring culinary leaders to adopt environmentally sound practices.

Matriark’s sauces are chef-approved, women-owned, and contribute to a healthier planet.







CHOMP, a Hong Kong-based app founded in 2020, tackles food surplus in the F&B industry while combating food waste. Offering unsold items from local bakeries and restaurants in discounted “mystery boxes,” CHOMP addresses misconceptions about surplus food.

Through education and dialogue via social media and school collaborations, CHOMP aims to reduce food waste locally and globally.




Kebony, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, leads in modified wood production. Unlike food waste startups, Kebony uses food waste to create softwood, mimicking tropical hardwood’s qualities.

Their award-winning technology prevents deforestation, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and utilises food waste effectively.