Canada: Montreal wants to bar grocery stores from throwing food in trash - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Montreal wants to bar grocery stores from throwing food in trash

02:35  17 october  2019
02:35  17 october  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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As part of its plan to go zero-waste by 2030, the City of Montreal wants to bar large grocery stores from throwing organic waste into the trash.

"We're producing food. There's an environmental cost, an economic cost. To waste that is absolute nonsense," said Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, the city's executive committee member responsible for the city's ecological transition.

With more than half of what's winding up in the city's landfills made up of organic material, she says the goal is to reduce waste "at the source."

The city will encourage grocery stores, hospitals and educational institutions to create partnerships with food banks and other community organizations to give unsold food to those in need.

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The waste-diversion measure is part of the city's plan for the management of residual materials over the next five years. The full plan will be unveiled tomorrow and then will undergo public consultations.

Fines for large grocers

Under the plan, anything that cannot be donated must be composted. If businesses do not comply, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said they could face fines, as a last resort.

That enforcement would come in phases, starting with large grocery stores.

"We're serious about doing the ecological transition, and all the areas need to be looked at, whether it's transport, about food, about recycling," Plante said.

The food bank Moisson Montréal has had a partnership with Provigo, IGA and Metro grocery stores since 2013. As a result, it received more than 1 million kilograms of food, including meat, from those sources last year.

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And grocery stores are responsible for tossing 10% of that food . Last week, we headed to major grocery Perfectly good produce pulled out of the trash from New York City supermarkets. Most grocery stores operate under the assumption that customers are more likely to buy produce if it's

Composting food scraps is one way to reduce food waste, but preventing excess food in the first place is Any dumpster diver can tell you: Grocery stores throw away a lot of food . But food discarded off the Since preventing waste has the greatest environmental impact, we wanted to weight strategies

The head of the Quebec branch of the Retail Council of Canada, Marc Fortin, says the ability to donate meat has come out of the work done by these businesses.

"Nobody wants food waste," Fortin said.

While he has not seen the city's plan, Fortin says the administration should avoid putting up red tape that could hurt those efforts already in place and further innovation.

However, all efforts so far are voluntary, leaving those without the desire or resources to donate their unsold stock free to throw it away, Lavigne Lalonde said.

She also wants to see more collaboration between small organizations and businesses with large amounts of organic waste to come up with ways to transform and deliver food that can be used by those in need.

a man and a woman standing in front of a store: Partage & Solidarité picks up unsold food items from small grocers to donate to those in need. They hear from business owners that people won't buy perfectly good food if it's past the 'best before' date or if fresher produce is available.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Partage & Solidarité picks up unsold food items from small grocers to donate to those in need. They hear from business owners that people won't buy perfectly good food if it's past the 'best before' date or if fresher produce is available.

The city's plan is welcome news to Dalila Assefsaf. She's a member of Partage & Solidarité, a group that picks up unsold food and delivers it to drop-off points where anyone can take it.

The group submitted a petition to the city earlier this year demanding an end to food waste.

"The food is in excellent condition. Sometimes it is past its 'best before' date, but it is still good to eat," she said.

She says the city must make donating unsold food mandatory because she's seen how much is winding up in garbage bins behind stores.

"They throw it away, and then it feeds rats," Assefsaf said. "That's the sad truth."

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