Swiss hotel shames food wasters by posting pictures of starving children

A luxury hotel in Switzerland is using an unusual tactic to combat food waste in its dining hall.

Brigitte Heller, general manager at the four-star Monopol Hotel in Lucern, posted signs that show emaciated children and a warning to guests not to overload on food next to its buffet during mealtimes, reports the Shanghaiist.

The note, which is written in both English and Chinese, begins:

“The malnourished children die…and in Switzerland people waste food and throw it away. This is in Switzerland ethically and morally unacceptable.”

The notice continues on a friendlier tone, "Good morning dear guests-- For ethical and moral reasons, in Switzerland we do not throw away any food. Please put on your plate only what you do eat. Thank you for your understanding."

Heller told Switzerland’s Blick newspaper that the pictures of the starving children, including Kevin Carter’s iconic 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a Sudanese girl being stalked by vulture, was originally her idea.

“Seeing how much food we have to throw away every day, I'm hurt for ethical reasons,” Heller said. "I try to make a difference, I cannot change the world, but that's a start."

Heller claims that the signs were meant for all guests, although 35 percent of the hotel’s guests are from Asian countries.

She said that if the Swiss are expected to respect foreign customs when abroad, tourists in Switzerland should abide by local customs and claims that she's already seen an reduction in uneaten food over the past month..

“It's not about criticism and education of guests,” the hotel manager explained. “How they behaved is ultimately the guest’s choice.”