COVID-19 driving Canadians to waste less food: survey

A new nationwide survey shows that Canadians are wasting less food while COVID-19 public health measures have been in place. Love Food Hate Waste Canada, delivered by the National Zero Waste Council in conjunction with its campaign partners, worked with the Mustel Group to understand how food purchasing, storage, consumption and food waste behaviours have changed since the introduction of quarantine and physical distancing measures.

The online survey of 1,200 randomly-selected adult Canadians was conducted between June 16 and 24, 2020 and found that while people are buying more food overall, 24% of households are throwing away or composting less uneaten food and 94% of Canadians are motivated to reduce their household’s avoidable food waste.

Since the introduction of public health measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 63% of Canadians are shopping less often, but are buying more food per trip than before. More households are adopting food-saving habits, especially checking what food is already in the house, freezing foods to extend shelf life, and getting creative with leftovers.

“This new research confirms that Canadians are thinking about making the most of the food they buy. We know that 84% of Canadians believe that everyone has a responsibility to prevent avoidable food waste in their households,” said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of the National Zero Waste Council. “We are excited to build on this momentum and support Canadians with the tools, insights, and resources they need to make preventing food waste in the home the new normal.”

Love Food Hate Waste Canada is also proud to work with partners like Sobeys Inc., who are responding to these consumer insights by making waste reduction part of their corporate mandate.

At the beginning of quarantine and physical distancing measures earlier this year, LFHW Canada launched “We’re Here to Help” – a food saving guide to help Canadians waste less food. The LFHW community tips board lets Canadians collaborate and share their own food-saving tips. Resources and tips can be found at

SOURCE National Zero Waste Council