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LAST MINUTE MARKET – a great tool of waste prevention

Last minute market-a good tool to prevent waste

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LMM eliminates waste by helping companies manage leftovers (food and other items) and remove them from processing routes.

In the last article, we discussed the worrisome food waste problem in Europe. In this article, we want to introduce a wonderful and successful European initiative to reduce food waste; the last minute market.

The Last Minute Market (LMM) connects shops and manufacturers (processing industries, food stores, retail stores, etc.) who have unsold food or they will be discarded by people who need it and charities.

Professor Andrea Segrè initiated this project in 1998. The University of Bologna developed SMM as a derivative product, and it is now active in more than 40 cities and towns in Italy and has launched new projects in other parts of the world.

LMM conducts business in the areas of unsold but edible food, unharvested vegetables, substandard seeds, unused catering products, unsold books, and currently unused medicines.

LMM eliminates waste by helping companies manage leftovers (food and other items) and remove them from processing routes. Public institutions and communities also benefit from the reduction in waste flow to landfills and incineration, which saves money on taxes, health and environmental damage, and reduces reliance on further imports of foreign food. Finally, it has also improved the food supply to the social sectors that need food and the third sector (charity) destinations that reduce operating costs and free up resources for other projects.

LMM has brought environmental, economic and social benefits. According to the founder, Professor Segrè, if LMM Food is adopted by supermarkets, small shops and cash and self-collection stores across Italy, 928,157,600 Euros will be recycled in the product. In addition, these products can provide 636,000 people with 3 meals a day-a total of 580,402,025 meals per year. In addition, by not sending these products to landfills, 291,393 tons of carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced.

In April 2010, LMM launched "ancora utili", a program to reclaim unexpired prescription drugs donated by single users, doctors or hospitals. Ferrara’s pilot project involves 11 pharmacies and the estimated market value of medicines collected annually is 15,000 Euros.

In October 2010, the European Parliament proposed the LMM, and the Agriculture Committee approved the resolution to reduce food waste in the entire food chain by 50%.

LMM is a win-win project and another part of a zero waste strategy. Preventing waste helps to optimize the use of resources and bring benefits to different stakeholders and the environment.

For more information (Italian), please visit www.lastminutemarket.org

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