Fiona Mair in the CHOICE Kitchen Lab - Images: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021
Consumer group CHOICE has awarded the Breville FoodCycler a Shonky Award for being a $2000 compost bin.
Shonkys ceremony available for download here: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021
Breville images and video: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1lQN-kf5iFHhX_yyO7CT3djDkmrAmYNf8?usp=sharing
Marketed as a way to slash your household food waste by more than 80%, the Foodcycler says that it dries, grinds and cools your leftovers – turning them into odourless, nutrient-rich 'eco chips.'
But when she put it to the test in the CHOICE Kitchen Labs, Home Economist Fiona Mair found it wasteful, expensive and complicated.
"Why would you want to spend money on an appliance to reduce your food waste going into landfill when you can buy something that virtually costs nothing to do the same thing? We think Breville are taking advantage of people who are wanting to look after the environment."
"It's just another appliance that sits on your bench. I think it's really quite unnecessary. There's so many other cheaper ways of composting," says Mair.
CHOICE calculated the costs of the device over 5 years including initial purchase ($499), energy costs ($86 a year) and replacement filters ($223 a year) - coming to over $2000 across the life of the device.
"We feel that the claims they're making are meaningless due to its actual impact on the environment," says Mair.
"When you look at the resources and energy used to manufacture the product and the disposal of the filters - where are they going? Do they break down? When you think of all the energy that's used, using it daily, all the plastics in it. It will end up in landfill one day. It's contradicting itself."
Fiona's advice is that Australians may have simple, cheap, effective options for reducing food waste sitting right underneath their noses.
"Many Australians don't realise their local council offers options for your food waste - it's worth contacting them to see what they offer or asking them to start a service. Otherwise, you can have a simple kitchen caddy sitting on your bench that doesn't use any energy and can be put to waste in your own backyard," says Mair.
Read more: Breville FoodCycler first look review - CHOICE.com.au
The CHOICE Shonkys 2021 are:
Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles - a shonky sugar bomb
Humm - for unsafe lending
The Breville Foodcyler - a $2,000 compost bin
Knock-off Bladeless Fans - generic fans with no windpower
The Airline Customer Advocate - for leaving us stranded
Main media release and more Shonkys information available at: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021
Media contact: 0430 172 669, firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Shonkys event is available as a pre-record.
CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland and CHOICE Managing Editor Marg Rafferty are available for interview. Other media releases, photos, video and graphics available for media use here: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021