Today, Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, in partnership with ReFED, a multi-stakeholder non-profit committed to reducing U.S food waste, released a new tool that will aid advocates, policymakers, investors, businesses, and nonprofits in improving the food waste policy landscape.
Over the past few years, FLPC has produced various 50-state charts on multiple areas of food waste policy, which are generally used as static charts or appendices to several of our published reports and toolkits. In order to share this data with more stakeholders across the country, we have created the U.S. Food Waste Policy Finder, an interactive tool for exploring federal and state policies that affect food waste reduction and diversion. The tool provides a comprehensive database of laws surrounding food waste and contains searchable maps that allow users to explore state-level laws around date labeling, tax incentives and liability protection for food donation, feeding food scraps to animals, and organic waste bans and waste recycling laws. As over a dozen states are seeking to change food waste laws, this tool provides a valuable look into what works (and what doesn’t), and how federal and state policy can accelerate food waste reduction.
The tool also includes an in-depth section on date labeling laws in order to emphasizes the nation’s patchwork system of date labeling laws that vary drastically from state to state, and highlights the need for an overarching federal date labeling system.
While an abundance of food is produced in the U.S., 40% of this wholesome, healthy, and safe food ultimately ends up in the landfill. In order to meet the national food waste reduction goal to cut food waste in half by 2030, there is a great deal of work to be done. The release of the U.S. Food Waste Policy Finder adds to FLPC and ReFED’s existing work to foster valuable cross sector collaboration to promote viable solutions to the nation’s food waste problem. FLPC hopes that these tools will inspire action, advocacy, and policy change to reduce unnecessary food waste.
Explore the U.S. Food Waste Policy Finder now!