United States 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal
Reducing food waste presents opportunities to:
- Address climate change;
- Increase food security, productivity and economic efficiency; and
- Conserve energy and other resources.
In the U.S., 30 to 40 percent of the food supply is never eaten, wasting the resources used to produce it and creating many environmental impacts. Food waste is the single most common material landfilled and incinerated in the U.S.
More than 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from landfilled food waste result from activities prior to disposal, including production, transport, processing, and distribution.1 In order to reduce these emissions, we need to prevent food waste from being generated in the first place.
On this page:
- U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal
- Measuring the Success of the Goal
- How Does EPA Plan to Take Action on the Goal?
- How Can You Take Action?
On September 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and EPA announced the U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction goal, the first-ever domestic goal to reduce food loss and waste. The goal seeks to cut food loss and waste in half by the year 2030.
By acting on this goal, the U.S. can reduce climate and environmental impacts associated with food loss and waste while improving food security and saving money for families and businesses.
Led by EPA, USDA, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal government is seeking to work with communities, organizations and businesses along with our partners in state, tribal and local government to achieve this goal.
To measure and describe progress against the 2030 food loss and waste reduction goal, the following baselines are being used:
- For food waste in the United States: EPA’s “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures” provides estimates of the amount of food waste generated by sector, as well as the amounts being managed by several management pathways. In September 2021, EPA updated the baseline to align the 2030 goal with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 12.3, which aims to reduce the amount of food from retail, food service, and households that has been removed from the human supply chain. This is defined as food waste that is being sent to: Landfill; Controlled combustion; Sewer; Litter, discards and refuse; Co/anaerobic digestion; Compost/aerobic digestion; and Land application.2 With this updated approach and baseline, in 2016, 328 pounds of food waste per person were sent to landfill, controlled combustion, sewer, co/anaerobic digestion, compost/aerobic digestion, and land application. The 2030 goal aims to reduce this food waste by 50 percent to 164 pounds per person.
- For food loss in the United States: USDA’s Economic Research Service has estimated the amount of available food supply that went uneaten at the retail and consumer levels. In the baseline year of 2010, food loss was 31 percent of the food supply, equaling 133 billion pounds and an estimated value of $161.6 billion. The 2030 goal aims to cut food loss at the retail and consumer level in half by approximately 66 billion pounds.
By 2030, we hope to see 50 percent reductions in both baseline measurements.
Working with USDA, FDA and state and tribal partners, EPA plans to secure action on the 2030 goal by working with leaders in the food system (e.g., private, government, nonprofit, academia, faith) to promote successful interventions and tools to advance the sustainable management of food.
By aligning the national goal with SDG Target 12.3, we are challenging all stakeholders to prevent food waste from being generated in the first place, keep food in the human supply chain, and recycle anything remaining.
Everyone can take action to reduce food loss and waste in the United States, whether you are an individual, a business, a school, or a non-profit, community or faith-based organization.
- Individuals and Communities: If you are an individual, learn how to reduce wasted food at home.
- Businesses and Organizations: If you are a business join the U.S. Food Loss and Waste Champions.
- Faith Organizations: If you are a faith organization, take a look at our Food Stewards Toolkit.