The Roadmap identified that the immediate priority and opportunity is to spread best practice policies at the local and state levels. A more aggressive waste diversion goal will become increasingly dependent on comprehensive food waste policy that sets national guidelines, which will significantly boost investment by national and global food businesses.
The Roadmap highlights a number of areas where policy can facilitate the adoption of food waste solutions. To achieve the 20% goal, the immediate priority is to spread best-practice policies at the local and state levels. Over the long-term, a 50% diversion goal will likely require a comprehensive federal food waste policy that sets national guidelines to significantly boost investment from national food businesses.
Policy treatment of food waste diversion differs dramatically throughout the country. Some states and even a few cities have implemented complete organics landfill bans to force businesses to invest in prevention, recovery, and recycling. While these bans incentivize waste reduction, they also create challenges for large businesses that operate across geographies. Similarly, the lack of standardized national regulation around date labeling and clear guidance on food safety for donations has hampered progress in building the business coalitions required to achieve major change.
Maintain and build upon the recent expansion of permanent federal food donation tax incentives for all farms and food businesses.
Create a common standard of safe handling practice regulations among state and local health departments.
Spread best practices to encourage recycling, such as streamlined permitting of processing facilities, improved enforcement of waste bans, and expanded incentives to encourage diversion of food waste from landfills.
Pass comprehensive federal food waste legislation that ties together nearly a dozen individual policies and signals a market shift to food businesses
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