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Food Waste: US vs. the European Union

Food Waste: Us vs. EuropeFood Waste Facts

With an annual loss in the billions, food waste in both the United States and the European Union is responsible for a chain reaction of negative impacts including rising food costs and an increase in the number of citizens not getting enough to eat. Luckily efforts to educate people about the problem have brought about a spark of positive changes.

United States: In September 2015, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Deputy Administrator of the EPA Stan Meiburg announced the first ever national food loss and waste goal calling for a 50% reduction by 2030.  By partnering with charities, organizations, the private sector and local & state governments, the plan is to educate and implement the reduction of food loss and waste programs across the c
ountry. In addition, noted increases in private businesses like Renergy are using existing food waste to create renewable electricity & gas, nutrients for soil and reclaimed water.

European Union: Also in September 2015, the European Commission launched an action plan to create a more circular economy where most if not all waste is recycled and reused. Part of the initiative includes a goal to reduce unnecessary food waste by 50% by 2030.  In addition to the various ways the EC is implementing support of the initiative, new legislation is being introduced that would require member states to take measurable action, monitor waste levels, and report on progress.  As a result, France international news last month when it passed a law banning supermarkets from throwing away unsold food and obligating them to donate to charity instead.

Want to know how you can help fight food waste at home? Check back next week for our list of home composting “Do’s & Don’ts.“

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Cari Oberfield