Food waste is the single largest type of waste entering our landfills, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According1 to the EPA,
- More than 36 million tons of food waste was generated in 2011, 96 percent of which was thrown away into landfills or incinerators
- Wasted food means wasted money for businesses and residences
- Food decomposes in landfills to generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas
Last year the EPA partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create the ‘U.S. Food Waste Challenge’. With a goal of 1,000 partners by 2020, the program is aimed at educating food producers, processors, retailers (including grocers), communities as well as other government agencies about the benefits of reducing food waste. As you can see from the list of partners, both the public and private sectors can and should play a role in helping;
- Reduce food loss and waste
- Recover food for human consumption
- Recycling food discards to be used as animal feed, compost, energy generation
Earlier this month we authored an E-guide, ‘Top 5 Grocer Benefits to Participating in a Food Recycling Program’. In it, we explore and outline the benefits of recycling meat and seafood (to be used as animal feed). Check out the E-guide by clicking below.
Whether you choose to formally become a ‘U.S. Food Waste Challenge’ partner aside, implementing a food recycling program at your grocery store will help you reduce your operational costs while helping the environment and local community at the same time.
1 Food Recovery Challenge – U.S. EPA