20 Astonishing Canada Food Waste Statistics [Infographic]

Did you know that even though world hunger is one of the top global issues, food waste is rising?


The latest food waste statistics show that even though the Canadian government is taking specific measurements to prevent food loss, it remains a significant problem.


Are you prepared to check out all the global and Canada stats about food waste?

Let’s dive in!

Food Waste Facts that Will Blow Your Mind (Editor’s Choice)

  • Food wastage in Canada causes 56.6 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions.
  • Up to 690 million people today are hungry, while 3 billion people can’t afford a healthy diet.
  • Supermarkets handle 10% of the total food waste in the US.
  • 45% of all produced fruits and vegetables are wasted.
  • Canada loses up to 4.82 million tonnes of food in the manufacturing processes.
  • Around 1.4 million Canadian kids don’t have access to healthy food.
  • Every day, each Canadian generates around 2.7 kilograms of garbage.

General Food Waste in Canada Statistics


1. In Canada, people waste an estimated $30 billion of food every year.

(Source: CTV News)

Food wastage is a significant problem in Canada. The country ranks among the biggest food wasters in the world. According to Canadian food waste statistics, 396 kilograms of food are wasted annually per capita while getting from the farm to the table. For comparison, food waste in America is higher, with an average of 415 kilograms per capita.

And yet:

2. Around 1.4 million Canadian kids don’t have access to healthy food.

(Source: CBC)

There are several approaches to overcome food loss and food waste. Some of them revolve around preventing food loss from the very start of the manufacturing and production process.

It can add up to the redistribution and donation of edible food so that food waste in Canada doesn’t happen. Just by taking a few simple steps, up to 4 million Canadians will get access to healthy food, in addition to the 1.4 million Canadian kids.

3. Food wastage in Canada causes 56.6 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions.

(Source: CBC)

The food waste in Canada in 2020 had a massive impact on the country’s environment. Methane that comes from food waste in the landfills is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. According to one study, Canada is the third-biggest gas emitter, just behind China and the US, and plays a significant role in climate change.

4. About 25% of all residential garbage in Vancouver comes from uneaten and spoiled food.

(Source: Van City)

Vancouver residents throw away uneaten and spoiled food more than any other type of material. This is not a surprise because the residents in Vancouver and Canadians, in general, have food in abundance.

According to Canadian food waste statistics for 2021, half of the country’s food waste is discarded in people’s own homes. The Vancouver food waste statistics also show that a mind-boggling 30,000 eggs, 40,000 tomatoes, 80,000 potatoes, 32,000 loaves of bread, and 55,000 apples go to waste each day.

5. Every day, each Canadian generates around 2.7 kilograms of garbage.

(Source: CRC Research)

One recent study shows that Canadians produce more garbage per capita than any other country in the world. Most of this garbage ends up in landfills, and currently, Canada has around 10,000 landfill sites.

And that’s not all:

The landfill statistics for Canada show that a worrying 20% of national methane emissions come from the decomposition of organic waste in the landfills. Click To Tweet

Food Waste Statistics Worldwide

food waste statistics

6. Up to 690 million people today are hungry, while 3 billion people can’t afford a healthy diet.

(Source: FAO)

In the last five years, there has been a significant rise in world hunger. The COVD-19 pandemic has been an additional threat to the food security of up to 132 million people. However, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed the situation of food waste and food loss. Up to 14% of the world’s food is lost even before it reaches the marketplace.

Besides, food loss isn’t only an indirect cause for hunger, as it’s also responsible for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So, food waste poses a significant threat to the environment as well.

7. Supermarkets are responsible for 10% of the total food waste in the US.

(Source: Smart Sense)

Supermarket food waste statistics reveal that American supermarkets’ food waste reaches up to 43 billion pounds a year. This type of food waste also adds up to the food containers and packaging waste, making up 23% of the landfill waste. Food waste is responsible for the consumption of 21% of all fresh air, 19% of all fertilizer, 18% of all cropland, and 21% of the landfill volume.

8. 45% of all produced fruit and vegetables are wasted.

(Source: FAO)

Along with tubers and roots, fruit and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food products. Nearly half of them go to waste. The food waste statistics show us that around 3.7 trillion apples are wasted each year, which is a staggering number.

9. Globally, one in nine people goes to bed hungry.

(Source: Stop Wasting Food Movement & OZHarvest)

According to food waste statistics worldwide, one in nine people is undernourished. The total number of people who don’t have enough food is 925 million. If we save one-quarter of the food we waste, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people.

10. Wealthy counties throw out around 222 million tonnes of food per year.

(Source: UNEP)

The wastage is different in every country. In developing countries, most of the food is wasted during the production process or on its way to the market. Consumers throw out very little food because it’s too valuable for them. Wealthy countries are quite the opposite because food waste statistics show that 40% of consumers throw out around 222 million tonnes of food every year.
Canada Food Waste Facts across Different Industries and Branches

11. Up to 2.2 million tonnes of household food goes to waste, which costs Canadians about $17 billion.

(Source: Toronto)

Food waste in Canadian households is expensive. And yet, up to 50% of single Canadian homes are responsible for daily food waste. The usable leftovers and even some untouched food are wasted. This is because of buying too much food, cooking too much food, or not storing food properly.

12. As per the grocery store food waste statistics, 12% of Canada’s avoidable food loss and waste happens during the supply chain’s retail phase.

(Source: Canada)

Food waste facts show that most food loss happens in the retail phase of the supply chain because of the following reasons:

  • Rejections of a product because it doesn’t fit in visually
  • Inadequate storage
  • Damage of goods after receipt
  • Oversupply due to inaccurate forecasting and poor inventory management
  • Withdrawal of products approaching the exceeding date labels
  • Lack of protocols and initiatives to enable food rescue and distribution

13. Manufacturing processes are responsible for up to 4.82 million tonnes of lost food.

(Source: CBC)

Right in the manufacturing processes, up to $21 billion are wasted due to food loss. About 2.38 million tonnes of food are lost on a consumer level, worth around $10 billion.

What’s more:

The total amount of dollars lost or wasted in Canada rises to $49 billion, enough to feed every Canadian citizen for five months. Since this type of food loss and food waste is avoidable, it can save Canadian households $1,766 annually.

14. Food packaging waste facts show that one-third of Canadian household waste is food packaging waste.

(Source: IC GC)

Even though food packaging comprises a significant part of Canadian household waste, the good news is that about 20% of it gets recycled. Food and plastic packaging waste have both been increasing over time. For that reason, the Canadian government has launched a challenge that will target the packaging and food industry. More on that in a bit!

15. Hotels, institutions, and restaurants contribute to 9% of food waste.

(Source: The Globe and Mail & Restaurants Canada & Feed Ontario)

Even though restaurant food waste in Canada is low compared to food waste in production and processing, it still needs to be handled. Some solutions can be adjusting the portion sizes, adapting to changes in demand, and avoiding mistakes in preparation.


Fast food waste facts show that Canadian restaurant owners should also consider that consumers under 30 spend up to 44% of their food budget in restaurants. In contrast, those over 65 spend only about 27% of their budget in restaurants. So, restaurateurs should adapt to their customers’ needs and do their best to avoid food waste.

Canadian Zero Food Waste Statistics and Future Solutions

food waste statistics

16. About $49.5 billion of Canadian food waste can be avoided by taking specific measures.

(Source: The Pig Site)

Zero food waste initiatives revolve around several options on how to reduce food waste. These measures can eliminate food waste entirely. With no food waste, consumers and society at large will be able to save money, support efficiency in the food and agriculture sector, improve food security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

17. The Canadian government is offering $10.8 million to innovators who will prevent food waste at any point.

(Source: The Pig Site)

The challenge, introduced in January 2021, features several steps that the innovations have to take. Throughout each stage of the challenge, an external group of judges will decide which applicants would move further to the next step and provide funding. The winning innovation will win $1.5 million as a prize.

What made the whole project challenging was that innovation should address all section emissions to meet climate targets. These include production, transportation, landfill disposal, and food waste and food loss.

18. $2.41 billion of food waste can be avoided at the distribution level.

(Source: Second Harvest)

Food waste happens at the distribution level, mainly because the products are not handled correctly. They are usually not stored at the right temperature; sometimes, the shipments are delayed, which causes the product to reach its expiry date.

Check this out:

Leftover distribution statistics in Canada show us that 5% (55 million tonnes) of food can be saved. It would be possible if distributors fix the problems they are currently facing.

19. The Canadian government announced that it would invest $134 million to support the food policy.

(Source: Agr Gc Ca)

Food systems are an integral part of community wellbeing, and they have a considerable impact on Canadians’ lives. The Canada food waste policy will help build a more sustainable and healthier food system that will benefit farmers and food businesses throughout the country.

20. Toronto’s food waste reduction strategy can reduce the amount of waste sent to disposal by up to 34,000 tons annually.

(Source: Toronto)

In 2014, Toronto started working on a comprehensive long-term waste management plan. The strategy includes new policies, technical opinions, programs, and best practices for the emerging waste problems and introduces cost-effective and environmentally sustainable techniques.

And on that cheerful note:


The latest food waste statistics make it abundantly clear:

Food loss is a massive issue throughout Canada and the world. Even though there are millions and billions of tonnes of food waste in Canada, there are still Canadian adults and children who don’t have access to healthy food.

The good news is:

The initiatives that the Canadian government is taking are aimed at producing zero waste in the near future. An advantage is given to innovations that will reduce food waste in each and every stage of the process. And you too can pitch in by getting creative with leftovers!

Hopefully, there will be less food waste and fewer hungry children before too long.


What percentage of food is wasted?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 30% of all food produced annually is wasted or lost. If the food waste problem continues, by 2050, the figure will increase to a staggering 60%.

How much food is wasted each year?

Roughly around 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted per year. Approximately 60% of the wasted food comes from Europe and the US. Other developed countries and regions where consumers waste a lot of food are Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and East Asia.

What is the global cost of food waste?

According to the FAO, wasted food costs the global economy around US$2.6 trillion each year. Food waste mainly occurs from consumers habits and the supply chain of retailers, distributors, and restaurants.

Which country wastes the most food in 2020?

The US is number one when it comes to food waste, throwing out around 30% of its food, worth roughly US$48.3 billion. The US also wastes half of the water it uses to produce food.

How much food does the average Canadian waste?

Canada food waste stats show that the average Canadian household throws out around 170 kilograms of food per year and spends $1,100 on wasted food. According to research by the National Zero Waste Council in Canada, the most wasted foods are vegetables (30%), fruit (15%), leftovers (13%), bread and bakery (9%), and dairy and eggs (7%).

How much food does the average person waste?

Food waste cost statistics show us that food waste is substantial in every country, regardless of income. According to the latest food waste statistics, the average person wastes 121 kilograms per year, and 74 kilograms are wasted in their households.


Having spent 7+ years immersed in content marketing, Anastasija has written on any topic you can think of! The industries and companies she's been a part of have shifted her idea about novelty and new challenges - in Canada and overseas. She always strives to go out of her comfort zone and learn about new topics that grow on her. Tech and AI are among these things. Writing about these two topics, I’ve caught myself passionately learning about all the ways that technology can impact and help humanity. And with changes happening continually, you have to be actively involved to stay up to date.

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