Online retail giant Amazon is the newest “champion” of a government challenge to reduce operational food loss and waste by more than 50% by 2030, USDA and EPA jointly announced Friday.
Amazon became the 31st company to make the pledge, joining Campbell's, Hilton, Walmart, and Walt Disney World, to name a few. The challenge aims to cut nationwide food waste in half by 2030. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said adding companies to the list “will go a long way toward us reaching our 2030 goals.”
“Currently, over one-third of all food goes uneaten through loss or waste,” he said. “That amount of loss is just too high, and as this Champions list expands, we will start to see real improvements in the way America manages its food.”
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded Amazon for taking the step and encouraged “more manufacturers, grocers, restaurants, and other businesses to become U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions.”
Amazon, which sells groceries through its Amazon Fresh online offerings as well as through physical locations like Whole Foods, plans to “continue to build on our internal food waste reduction processes as well as grow our partnerships with food banks and food recovery organizations across the country to ensure that all communities have access to fresh food,” Stephanie Landry, Amazon’s worldwide vice president for grocery, said in a statement.
According to EPA estimates, more than 75 billion pounds of food reaches landfills and combustion facilities every year, constituting 22% of discarded municipal solid waste, making food waste the largest material in everyday trash. USDA pegs the value of food loss and waste for consumers and retailers at more than $161 billion each year.
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