Buenos Aires is tackling the growing challenges of food waste and food shortages with a source-based strategy targeting households, schools, and restaurants.

 

The Challenge

It is estimated that 16 million tonnes of food are thrown away annually in Argentina; meanwhile, 32% of the population lives below the poverty line1. This is the first municipal strategy that aims to tackle both problems simultaneously.

 

The Solution

The sustainable urban food strategy in Argentina's capital is reducing food waste sent to landfill. In recent years, the city has been praised for recognizing the importance and rights of informal waste-pickers, as well as processing municipal waste sustainably. But the newest strategy aims to tackle a more culturally ingrained attitude to food waste. Starting in primary schools and working with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, the city aims to disseminate information about best practices for minimizing and dealing with food waste. The information campaign also focuses on restaurants and communities, where workshops will be held to engage citizens. In addition, the University of Bologna recently launched a survey on food waste in the city, which is the first research of its kind in Latin America. The city hopes to use the results as a starting point to cut food waste further and determine how to reallocate surplus food to the hungry.

 

Environmental Benefits – Combatting waste sent to landfill will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and methane produced via fermentation in landfills.

Economic Benefits – Reducing waste volumes benefits consumers, who save money on food shops, as well as the municipality, which saves money via reduced waste processing.

 

About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 2017 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in five sectors: Energy, Waste, Adaptation, Mitigation and Transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments. You can access the full Cities100 2017 publication online here.