Criminalizing Food Waste


The Plan:

Criminalize food waste in Calgary grocery stores. This will make it illegal for grocery stores to throw out edible food items. Instead, they will have to  donate it under the Charitable Donation of Food Act, or liability contracts with other non-provincial bodies (i.e Leftovers Calgary, Mustard Seed…).

I hope to be able to eliminate a significant amount of food waste in Calgary, hopefully inspiring other cities around Canada and the world to follow a similar law.

The plan is to make a documentary style proposal, with the end goal of presenting it to the Calgary Municipal Council with a bylaw plan.


Step 1: Research

With our project last semester I was able to get a solid understanding of food waste and it’s effects in Canada. Also I got to look at different laws and acts around Canada and the world to see what has been done, what works and what doesn’t.

(Disclaimer, France did it first)


Step 2: Contact

This semester we are working locally here in Calgary. With that we are in contact with local organizations like the Food Bank, as well as individuals who are living a “waste less” lifestyle, restaurants who are already donated where they can, and grocery stores who will be most affected by the criminalization of  food waste.


Step 3: Interviews

The video interviews will cover personal and/or company experience with food waste in Calgary, what is being done, what can be done, and how a potential bylaw would affect these people.


Step 4: The Dinner

At the end of March our class will be hosting a dinner and each group is inviting different people who they wish to present their proposals (the documentary) to. We have decided we will be inviting a couple members from council who we believe will be most interested in taking part and looking more into the issue. Also we plan on inviting some local grocers involved in the documentary process so they can view the end product, and further discuss how they will be affected.


Step 5: Let’s hope this works!

With the dinner, it changes our angle a bit on proposing it to council. So, the plan is that the dinner will be an introduction of the issue and our innovation to a couple council members. The members that attend will be our “make it or break it” moment to see how we can and will continue with this project. And whether or not we can follow through with council, or that’s the end of the road for this approach.