How an app is helping to reduce food waste in Canada

"Food waste is a massive environmental issue," says Nicolas Dot. The Too Good To Go app is helping Quebecers and Canadians save restaurants hundreds of thousands of bags of food. Anastasia Dextrene reports.

The Too Good To Go app is helping to reduce food waste in Montreal and globally, by connecting customers to restaurants and stores that have a surplus of unsold food at the end of the day. 

The service began operations in North America in October of 2020 and in Canada in 2021. Now restaurants across Quebec and Canada, including Tim Hortons are helping Canadians save hundreds of thousands of bags of food.

“It’s a win, of course, for consumers because we can access delicious food at a fraction of the cost. It’s also a win for the food businesses because they can actually make money [from] surplus food […] and it’s also a win for the planet, because 10% of greenhouse gas emissions are actually connected to food waste,” Too Good To Go Canada PR manager, Nicolas Dot, told CityNews.

According to the 2022 Quantification Study of Food Loss and Waste by Recyc-Quebec, over one million tonnes of edible food are lost or wasted each year in the province. Of that, 27 per cent of waste happens at the retail level, including restaurants and hotels. But Dot says Quebecers are stepping up.

“There are more than 2000 food businesses that are saving food across the province. […] It’s encouraging to see that Quebecers are actually taking this in their own hands,” Dot said.

“Too Good To Go was born in Europe over eight years ago to inspire citizens to take action towards a planet with no food waste,” he added.

It’s for this reason that the app was designed to be user-friendly.

“As a consumer, you can just download the app and see all the food businesses that actually participate. […] You just have to click on the one that you want to save [food] from,” Dot said. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Tim Hortons offered two bags of food to be saved, which were priced at $4.99 each – a retail value of $15.

The app boasts “Bakeries. You can have convenience stores. You can have, like, fast-casual restaurants,” Dot explained.

He also says the app extends to convenience stores and groceries.  

“We are now present in every Canadian province except Prince Edward Island. But definitely, like, our journey is really towards continuing expansion regionally […] to really bring the solution and democratize the fight against food waste,” Dot said.

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