In April 2019, the line joined forces with Winnow, a company helping others reduce food waste, which resulted in saving some 27t (equal to approx. 70k meals) over a period of four months.
The majority of the meals served on Mariella, sailing on the Helsinki-Mariehamn-Stockholm route, is prepared centrally in the same kitchen. For the duration of the project, the kitchen waste bins were equipped with scales to measure the actual amount of waste.
With the help of computer software, the waste is categorised, weighed, and recorded for statistical purposes. The computer-generated reports enable for the monitoring of plate and trim waste, as well as that due to overproduction. "In practice, for example, all the discarded food from the buffet lines is measured," Viking Line said in a press release.
In addition, Viking Line restaurants have also developed the presentation and serving size of their dishes as a means of reducing the plate waste. The buffet restaurant, for example, offers ready-made portions that enable passengers to select the exact amount that they want.
"We have managed to minimise food waste per passenger by an average of 40%. This reduction was especially driven by an increase of efficiency in our kitchen procedures. We pay more attention to preparation amounts. As a concrete example, any potatoes boiled for lunches can also be used to prepare delicious side dishes for the dinner crowd," Janne Lindholm, Restaurant Manager, Viking Line, explained.
Lindholm also underlined, "None of the changes required us to compromise on the quality, freshness or availability of our food. In fact, it's been quite the opposite. When we utilise raw ingredients more efficiently, we avoid overproduction and there is more time left to focus on development work and customer service."
The remaining food waste is used towards the production of biogas. In 2018, the biowaste collected from the Viking XPRS, Viking Grace, and Mariella ferries was used to produce a total of 98,550 m3 of biogas (which equals, in terms of energy, altogether 111.3k litres of gasoline).
The waste reduction project on Mariella is going to continue. Based on the positive results, a similar project is planned to be also carried out on-board the ro-pax Gabriella.
Photo: Viking Line