A woman who eats food she finds in bins says it is a “common sense” way to draw attention to the massive amount of food wasted by modern society.
So-called ‘dumpster diving’ has taken off in popularity in recent years and has been used by climate activists and anti-poverty campaigners to highlight unnecessary commercial waste.
“Dumpster diving is something that I do because it’s a great way to draw attention to the dramatic amounts of waste that we have from supermarkets and from shops,” activist Caitlin Weichnz explained to Lunchtime Live.
“There is waste at every level but supermarkets at the end of the day, will clear all of the bread and the pastries that have been made that day into a big bag and then pop that into the dumpster outside.
“So, it’s on public land, it’s in a bin, you open up the lid and look at what’s inside.”
Ms Weichnz started with a friend a number of years ago and was “horrified” by just how easy it is to find large quantities of food in public bins.
“You would be amazed, there’s no trawling involved,” she said.
“You literally open the lid, open the plastic bag that’s in there and the food is just sitting there. It is the exact same food that was sitting on shelves 10 minutes ago.”
Most people would rather go hungry than eat something that has previously been in a bin and Ms Weichnz says there is a certain amount of common sense required.
“If you see something where the packing is damaged, if it’s open, if it’s clearly the wrong colour, if it smells funny,” she said.
“It’s the same as when you go into your own refrigerator… So, why would you not eat it just because it’s been briefly in a bin?”
Food waste generates between 8 and 10% of global carbon emissions and Ms Weichnz said it is this statistic that animates her activism.
“I personally do it to raise awareness of food waste and there is such a dramatic amount of food that is wasted every year,” she said.
Main image: Caitlin Weichnz