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Media Release

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation and UN Environment Launch Video Contest to Bring Attention to Food Waste

Over one-third of food is wasted in North America. Visit <www.notwasting.com>.

Montreal, 28 October 2016—Forgotten in the fridge or scraped off a plate. Thrown in the garbage. Left to rot. Sent to a landfill.

Millions of consumers repeat this sequence of actions without a second thought and send mountains of uneaten food to landfills. In North America, on average, one-third of all food is wasted. This is not only a shocking waste of resources, but also leads to the creation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that warms the planet much faster than carbon dioxide.

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and UN Environment (UNEP) are launching a video contest, calling on the public to share how they’re ensuring #NotWasting by submitting a video online.

“Food loss and waste is a global social, economic and environmental issue. Every year, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes, or one-third, of the food produced globally is currently lost or wasted,” said Patricia Beneke, UN Environment regional director for North America. “We are working around the world and here in North America, to ensure the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.3, which calls for us to halve food waste in households and [in] retail globally by 2030, and to reduce food loss across the supply chain.”

The Make #NotWasting food a way of life Contest is open to private citizens, schools, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, agricultural producers, and municipal and state/provincial government agencies, in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

“North America stands out among other developed regions of the world with some of the most food wasted per capita. By showcasing the work you are doing in your community to reduce food waste through the #NotWasting video contest, you’re helping other communities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States understand how they too can reduce food waste. Together, we can build a more sustainable North America,” said César Rafael Chávez, CEC Executive Director.

The contest invites people to demonstrate why their food waste reduction initiative, whether small- or large-scale, is both innovative and impactful. The initiative must be actively attempting to salvage food before it becomes waste—for example, a consumer who buys food wisely and uses all leftovers, a grocery store that avoids rotting overstock or a municipality that diverts food waste from landfills.

Videos must be posted online at www.notwasting.com before the midnight (EST) on Sunday, January 15, 2017. Participants are also encouraged to share their video on social media, using the hashtag #NotWasting.

A panel of renowned North American experts will select the three winning submissions. The winner from each country will be invited to present his/her initiative at the first North American Workshop on Food Waste Reduction and Recovery, hosted by the CEC in early 2017.

The purpose of the workshop will be to identify gaps, challenges, opportunities and strategies to enhance food waste reduction and recovery in North America, and will be attended by leading government officials and experts from all three countries.

For more information and details about how to enter the contest, visit: <www.notwasting.com>.

CEC Projects - Food Waste Reduction and Recovery

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

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