TOKYO, June 20 — Japan has set up a target to halve household food waste to 2.15 million tons by 2030 from the fiscal 2000 level, the government said.
The environment ministry will work with municipalities to reduce household food waste, including campaigns to raise awareness among consumers.
The move is part of the government’s efforts to follow the U.N.’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), which seek the fight against food waste at the international level.
Last year, Japanese households threw away 2.89 million tons of food that could have been eaten, according to the agriculture ministry. That means it needs to reduce 25 percent from the 2017 level in order to reach the target by 2030.
Throwing away food means it wastes water, energy and fuel that were required to grow, store and distribute food, while discarded it ends up in landfill where it rots, releasing climate changing gases, experts say.
The agriculture ministry pointed out that good progress has been made by food companies to reduce food waste since the ministry started assembling detailed records in 2012.
But it also said that expanding food service sector has grown simultaneously with food waste.
A breakdown shows that food wasted by the food industry accounts for 55 percent, while household food waste accounts for the remaining 45 percent.