Competition among Estonian schools to determine the least food-wasting school canteen

Country of implementation


Type of the practice

Educational competition for schools

Initiator of the practice

Private company Daily – the Estonia’s largest school caterer, offering meals in 77 schools and 47 school canteens across Estonia

Type of education

Schools (primary, secondary)

Age of participants


How many participants max can participate


Education form


Short description

To reduce food waste, Daily – the largest school caterer in Estonia operating under Baltic Restaurants Estonia AS – is launching a competition among Estonian schools to determine the least food-wasting school canteen.    During the competition, which lasts for one week, the amount of food waste generated in nearly 70 Daily school canteens across Estonia is monitored. The amount of discarded food is weighed at the end of each day and recorded on a public chart in the school canteen. At the end of the week, the school with the least amount of food wasted per student is announced as the winner.   In 2022, the Tallinn French Lyceum won the competition by wasting the smallest amount of food per student – only 6 grams per day.   This activity to weigh food waste has been carried out in Daily school canteens for four years already.


During the competition, the students start serving themselves smaller portions that they could actually finish. Additionally, the competitive aspect of this initiative motivates them to waste less food. The weighing results also provide the food serving company with valuable feedback, enabling them to adjust menus and plan food quantities more accurately.   Replication: Can be easily replicated in other schools and countries.    Impact: The initiative has high impact due to the large number of participants, resulting in a significant reduction of food waste.  

Challenges in implementation

Since the competition only lasts for one week, it is possible that the change in student behavior may be temporary.