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OzHarvest's Use It Up tape nudges households to clean out the fridge

Nobody buys food with the aim of throwing it out later. Yet that's what happens, from overbuying veggies to forgetting what's in the back of the fridge. OzHarvest wants to break that pattern with eye-catching yellow and black tape.

The Australian charity's new Use It Up tape can be cut into stickers to slap on food containers in fridges and kitchen cabinets, marking everything that needs to be used up first. Prompts include 'pick me', 'cook me' and 'eat me up'. The tape is made of paper and can be reused and recycled. Rolls are free to order, with AUD 4 paid for shipping.

OzHarvest — which rescues food that would otherwise be discarded and distributes it to charities across Australia — is quick to point out that people can make their own stickers, too. Or simply label a dedicated shelf in their fridge for food that needs to be used up first.

Hands opening a container marked 'Use Me Up'

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Globally, an estimated 8-10% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that's produced, but not consumed. In Australia alone, annual food waste is over 7.6 million metric tons, costing the economy more than AUD 36.6 billion a year

Clearly, we need to stop wasting food, but facts and awareness aren't enough. Simple tools like Use It Up tape can bridge that gap between people's good intentions and the messy reality of daily life. Since visual cues help change behavior, by the time that roll of tape is finished, households could have a waste-free habit that, um, sticks.

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom