MASSPIRG, Clean Water Action join forces to reduce food waste

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Local nonprofits believe there’s no time to waste

BOSTON — As the new year approaches, two of Massachusetts’ leading advocacy groups are launching a new campaign to reduce food waste. MASSPIRG and Clean Water Action will focus mainly on the environmental and public health benefits of right-sizing our food production and portions — and dealing with the rest sustainably. 

Per a recent memo from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), while Massachusetts has been making progress in recent years on diverting food waste from landfills and incinerators, we have a long way to go. To meet DEP’s 2030 goals for food waste reduction, the state needs to more than double the 360,000 tons currently diverted to 780,000 tons. 

In response, MASSPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz and Clean Water Action Director Cindy Luppi released the following statement:

“The holiday season is generally when people allow themselves to loosen their belts a little bit. Hosts recognize that many of their guests want to indulge, so they respond with mounds of delicious food. Unfortunately, much of this food often goes uneaten, so household waste increases by 25% during the holidays. 

“That’s not only throwing away $1.00 out of every $4.00 you spent on food, but also it harms the environment. This waste results in annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 42 coal-fired power plants, not counting the carbon emitted from uneaten food rotting in landfills. 

“Regardless of which holidays we celebrate, we can all resolve to give Massachusetts multiple gifts by reducing food waste. Let’s double down on our efforts to divert food from landfills and incinerators, and ask our decision-makers to build the infrastructure needed to compost and reuse food scraps in a sustainable manner.”