ZeeWaste4EU – Interview for Information Recipients (Students) #2

This interview refers to the ZeeWaste4EU project which can be found in our Good Practices section.


What did you like the most about this practice?

The strength of Zeewaste4EU -project is that it comes to a personal level, where the participants have to consider their food waste on daily life. 7-day challenge to take photos of one’s plate will give an idea of how much food the person is wasting in their daily life. The natural consequence is that people start to think what are the reasons for food waste and how to decrease food waste.

What did you like the least about this practice?

The challenge was focused on plate waste without really considering the impact of the type of food that people eat. For example, the consequence of wasting same amount of vegetables and meat have different impact. Although it is important that as little food waste as possible is produced, at least as important is what type of diet the person has. This aspect was not considered that much in this practice.

 How can this practice be improved in the future?

Since the participation was voluntary for most participants, it might be that those who are already eco-conscious take part to the challenge more likely than those who are not as interested on their impact to the environment. If this type of challenge could be a part of a course or class in school it could reach also those students who are not as aware of their food wasting habits.

Do you think your understanding of Food Literacy and sustainable food systems has been improved after implementing this practice?

I think the project helps people to be more aware of their food waste and food waste in general. In that sense it improves the understanding of sustainable food systems, because preventing food waste is an important part of a sustainable food system. For me, I learned more about the food waste that is generated along the food chain and how big of an issue food waste is in EU.

Have you made any changes to your diet yet after implementing this practice?

Personally, I produce quite little food waste and most of it consists of non-edible parts of the food, such as skins/shells of fruits. When I buy fresh food, I normally use it within few days. There were no real changes in my diet after this practice.

Do you have any ideas, how can sustainable food systems be promoted among young people/children?

 Young people need good examples on how to eat sustainably and knowledge about sustainable food systems. Our project was focused on decreasing the food waste to zero, which is a good goal. A similar case could be made for sustainable diets, which consider the environmental and climate impact of producing food. A “sustainable diet challenge” would challenge the participants to eat climate friendly for seven days. That would increase the knowledge of young people about sustainable food products.

Additional comments

Zeewaste4EU has an important goal of reducing the food waste to zero among young people. Educational material about food waste are important to give young people the tools to reduce their food waste. The food waste challenge that was organized at our university was a good way to encourage young people to think about their food waste and help them to make more sustainable decisions in their everyday life.

SWOT Analysis


  • Actual reduction of food waste, as students become more aware about FW problem at the end of this practice.
  • Use of newly developed software to assess the amount of food waste on students’ plates. 
  • Implementation of a learning-by-doing approach to enhance critical and analytical thinking among students.


  • It was challenging to encourage student participation in the challenge due to its relatively lengthy duration (1 week) and the substantial effort required (capturing at least 6 pictures each day).
  • The voluntary nature of participation possibly introduced bias, as students already environmentally conscious were more likely to participate in the challenge compared to those less concerned about their environmental impact.
  • The research results might lack neutrality due to some participants intentionally altering their food waste production habits as a result of their participation in the research.
  • The human factor posed a significant issue as participants frequently forgot to take pictures, despite consistent reminders.
  • The analysis did not extensively address the potential impact of different types of food waste (e.g., vegetables or meat) on the outcomes. 


  • This activity has increased awareness and promoted behavioral changes to reduce food waste, encouraging students to make more sustainable decisions in their daily lives.
  • This activity can be easily replicated in other regions/countries and adapted for different stakeholders. 
  • The activity might be further developed, for example, a “sustainable diet challenge” could educate young individuals about environmentally friendly food choices, contributing to their knowledge of sustainable consumption.


  • When replicating this practice, analyzing the collected data might require the use of licensed software, which could pose difficulties due to limited accessibility.
  • The activity requires some (at least minimal) funding.

Case Study Info

Good Practice Title:


Meeting Date and Place:

Tallinn, 23/06/2023

Name of the Interviewee:

Daniel Teittinen

Gender and Age of The Interviewee:

Male, 24 years old

Position or Role of the Interviewee:


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