Bakery waste is recycled
In Lantmännen Unibake’s bakeries the inedible bakery waste is used for animal feed, as material for biofuel production and for producing carbonic acid.

In Vaasan – a Lantmännen Unibake company covering the fresh bread business in Finland and the Baltics – they have found new ways to make use of edible food that would otherwise be wasted. Some excess batches of fresh products are sold at shops, some are given to charity, and since 2017 excess batches of Finland’s most popular rye bread, Vaasan Ruispalat, are transformed into a whole new product line: Finland’s first beer made from waste – of course named “Wasted”.

The beer is made in collaboration with the organization From Waste to Taste. They choose the products with the shortest expiration date and collect the bread bags from Vaasan’s outlet bakery stores and transport them to a micro-brewery.

Large-scale production
The brewing process began with small-scale equipment, and at first the product was only sold at selected restaurants and events.

But thanks to successful crowdfunding “Wasted” is now manufactured large-scale, and the beer is part of the selection at Alko (the national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly in Finland) and at the Food Market Herkku shop in Helsinki.

Raise awareness
Even though this project only has a minor sustainability impact, and even though drinking beer is hardly the answer to solving all food waste challenges “Wasted” can help raise awareness in an audience that can be hard to reach with traditional information campaigns.

The hope is that consumers will think about reducing their own food waste because bread is one of the most common products to end up in a dumpster. It is estimated that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes per year. That’s not just a lot of food waste; it’s also a lot of costly resources wasted in the process.

So, if you are in Finland, you might want to head for the nearest Alko and get “Wasted”. It’s good for the environment.