Washington Seeks to Reduce Food Waste by 50 Percent by 2030
An innovative bill in Washington State aims to eliminate 50 percent of food waste by 2030. HB 1114, introduced by Representative Beth Doglio, tasks the Department of Ecology to work with the Departments of Agriculture and Health to develop a comprehensive plan by 2020 to reach the 50 percent elimination goal. The plan must include strategies to:
- Prevent and reduce edible food waste from homes and businesses,
- Divert food that would otherwise be wasted to food banks, and
- Develop alternative uses for inedible foods (i.e., animal feed, energy production).
In addition to creating a strategic plan, HB 1114 would integrate food waste into Washington’s existing waste management system. For example, it would allow funds from a waste reduction and recycling competitive grant program to go toward food waste. It would also require that city and county waste management plans include strategies to reduce food waste at the local level.
Given that the US wastes over 40 percent of the food it produces, HB 1114 is poised to become a landmark example in tackling the nation’s food waste problem.