Establishing Targets for Food Waste Reduction

In the European Union, it is estimated that 20% of the total food produced is wasted. Wasting food is not only unethical and creates economic issues, but it also depletes natural resources and generates greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU Waste Framework Directive sets out Europe’s fundamental waste management principles, providing a framework to improve waste prevention and management of different waste types including food waste.

Under this Directive, it is envisaged that by 2023 the European Commission examines data on food waste provided by Member States with a view to considering the feasibility of establishing a Union-wide food waste reduction target to be met by 2030.

To this end, as part of the Commission’s preparation for the revision of the Waste Framework Directive, the Commission has launched an initiative to propose legally binding targets on food waste reduction.

The objective of such legally binding targets would be to ensure that Member States take ambitious action to reduce food waste in their respective territories. This will ultimately help limit the impact of the food supply chain on the environment and climate and ensure more food is available for human consumption, thereby creating a more sustainable food system.

The proposed food waste reduction targets shall also contribute to the achievement of the targets set out in the Farm to Fork Strategy that aims to reduce the environmental and climate impact of the EU food system and facilitate the shift to healthy and sustainable diets.

As part of the preparation on the proposed targets, the European Commission is undertaking an impacted assessment to assess, compare and identify the best policy option on how to best set out these EU-level targets in way of ensuring that Member States take action to reduce food waste in their respective territories.

Consequently, as part of the public consultation on the revision the Waste Framework Directive, the Commission is seeking opinions and insights about the proposed food waste targets and gathering feedback on the most effective measures on reducing food waste.

All relevant stakeholders, including but not limited to national authorities, producers and producer responsibility organisations, waste collectors and recyclers, households, businesses, NGOs and scientific experts are invited to partake in this online consultation and provide their input by August 16, 2022.

More information on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive can be found here.