Rashmi Ravi

Anthropocene: Food waste

The Anthropocene describes the present time where human activity has had an extreme impact on the earth. The Anthropocene presents a ‘profound ontological shift in human understandings of connection and entangling with the non-human’ (Latour, 2013). Nowadays there is no refusing that individuals have and continue to attempt to ‘play god’ in a world where our activities are surely having serious consequences on our environment and society. ‘Nature no longer runs the earth, we do’ (Lynas, 2011) and our production of waste is one of the most detrimental aspects of human living, with the average Australian family producing enough rubbish in a year to completely fill a three-bedroom house from floor to ceiling. As concerns grow and we begin to accept the indefinability of our human impact it is vital that the focus of generating less waste is at the core of our decision-making, idea generation and future planning.

Food waste is one of the highest contributors to waste production with 50% of food turning to waste, an issue for the environment as well as society as millions of people go hungry each day. Of the millions of tons of food that is wasted each year, it is estimated that 96% ends up in landfill (Modern Farmer, 2015).

In Berline, Germany, two young entrepreneurs have created a no-waste grocery story that fulfils the desired vision of sustainable shopping. Original Unverpackt or ‘Original and Unpackaged’ is the result of an extremely successful crowd funding campaign dispenses products in bulk, encouraging shoppers to bring their own containers or use recyclable paper bags.

Similar business models have tried and failed in the past, however creators Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski are confident that now is the time, “This project is there to send a signal to the food industry that different ways of operating are possible. And we as customers finally are able to buy things the way we really want to. We believe that the current way of shopping is not sustainable.” (Wolf, 2015)

It is obvious that we cannot continue in the destructive living so engrained in us. Strategies such as Original Unpackaged and many others are bringing to light and tackling the issue of general and food waste. These strategies are just the beginning of our attempt as a globe in attempting to salvage and provide a future for our planet.


Anderson, K. 2015, Ethics, Ecology, and the Future: Art and Design Face the Anthropocene, Leonardo, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 338-347, accessed 28th of September 2015

Baskin, J. 2014, The Ideology of the Anthroposcene, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Research paper series, accessed 28th of September 2015

Harmonic, R and Hirsch, J. 2013. Food Waste: The Next Food Revolution, Modern Farmer, viewed 16th of September 2015, <http://modernfarmer.com/2013/09/next-food-revolution-youre-eating/&gt;

Latour, B. 2013, Telling friends from foes at the time of the anthropocene, lecture prepared for the EHESS-Centre Koyré- Sciences Po symposium, “Thinking the Anthropocene” Paris, 14th-15th, November 2013, <http://www.bruno-latour.fr/node/535&gt;

Lynas, M 2011, The God Species: How the Planet can Survive the Age of Humans, Harper Collins, London.

Martinez, O 2014. A New Package-Free Shopping Experience, Epoch Times, viewed 15th of September 2015, <http://nextshark.com/original-unpackaged-grocery-store-no-waste/&gt;

Martinez, O. 2014, Original Unverpackt, YouTube, viewed 23rd of September 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3Gu4qTvbJU&gt;

Sayre, NF 2012, The Politics of the Anthropogenic, Annual Review of Anthropology, 41, pp. 57-70

Transpacific Industries Group LTD, 2015. Australian Waste: The Facts, Cleanway, viewed 15th of September 2015, <http://www.transpacific.com.au/asset/cms/Documents/Australian%20Waste%20-%20The%20Facts.pdf&gt;

The Economist, 2011, A man-made world, The Economist. viewed 20 August 2015, <http://www.economist.com/node/18741749&gt>


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