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Add food waste to climate plan, UBCM urges Victoria

163,000 people in B.C. used a food bank in March of 2022.
Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr has not ruled out a mayoral run. Photo Dan Toulgoet

B.C.’s government climate plan should include measures to reduce food waste, limit over-packaging of produce, increase organic waste diversion and promote planet-friendly foods, Union of B.C. Municipalities annual conference delegates voted Sept. 21

A resolution stated 11.8 percent of B.C. households (485,500 British Columbians) experience some level of food insecurity and about three percent  (91,100 British Columbians) experience severe food insecurity, leading to more than 163,000 people in BC using a food bank in March of 2022.

It said predictions show reliance on food banks and other food charities is expected to increase by 60 percent in B.C in 2023, with the non-profit sector bearing the brunt of costs associated with collecting and delivering food that would otherwise be wasted to people in need.

Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr said the National Zero Waste Council calculates that 63 percent of all of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten and, according to the Government of BC, about 40 percent of our produce ends up in a landfill, where it breaks down to produce significant greenhouse gases which climate scientists predict will accelerate global warming and greatly reduce food-production capacity.

Carr said, due to the climate crisis, many areas of the world are no longer able to produce food and that populations are moving as a result.

She said the federal government collects data on food waste but B.C. does not.

“If you don’t measure the problem, you can’t figure out the solution to that problem,” Carr said.

In 2022, delegates endorsed a resolution asking Victoria to amend its CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 to include food waste reduction and recovery as, or into, one of the pathways.