Tuesday, June 04, 2013
EPA & USDA Partner To Reduce Wasted Food
Food waste is the single largest type of waste entering our landfills -- Americans throw away up to 40 percent of their food. Addressing this issue helps to combat hunger and save money, while also combating climate change. Food waste in landfills decomposes to create potent greenhouse gases and by reducing this waste we can in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Americans send more food to landfills and incinerators than any other single municipal solid waste (MSW) – 35 million tons– even more than paper and plastic. When wasted food is sent to landfills, it decomposes and becomes a source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In addition, the production and transportation of food has a number of environmental impacts; by reducing wasted food our society helps conserve energy and reduces environmental impacts.
In 2010, EPA began challenging organizations along the food lifecycle to adopt more sustainable practices through its National Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) program’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC). EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge provides direct technical assistance, a tracking system, and recognition to help support and motivate organizations to reduce their food waste. Through the simple act of measuring food that is wasted, organizations can immediately identify simple changes that lead to big reductions More than 200 organizations are now participating in the Food Recovery Challenge. (EPA)
More on the U.S. Food Waste Challenge
More on the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program and Food Recovery Challenge