Policy Recommendations to Reduce Food Waste and Encourage Food Rescue
From an economic perspective, the fact that excess food is discarded rather than rescued represents a market failure. At market prices, it is not worthwhile to who to rescue food. However, taking into account alternative values and nutritional benefits makes food rescue highly beneficial economically.
The rescue and provision of surplus food to those in need reduces social gaps and prevents food insecurity in weaker, underprivileged populations.
Waste reduction reduces pollutant levels, GHG emissions, use of finite land and water resources, and the quantity of waste sent to landfills.
Recommendations for policy measures necessary to reduce food waste and encourage food rescue in Israel:
Aiming to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030, as specified by the UN – the goal would be to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030, in accordance with principles laid out by the UN.
Setting a national goal will place the issue on the national agenda and more importantly will create governmental commitment to act towards the realization of this objective. In addition to setting a goal, it is necessary to establish measurement and monitoring tools to facilitate ongoing review of compliance with the goal.
There is currently a voluntary mechanism that allows local authorities to charge businesses a special fee for the collection of commercial waste (48). It is recommended to make this mechanism binding on all Israeli authorities. Towards this end, criteria must be established to regulate the amount all businesses are charged for commercial waste collection, so an economic incentive is created to reduce waste disposal in general, and, in particular, food waste from industry, retailers, restaurants, hotels, banquet halls, etc. Any business that is the source of the organic waste will be required to bear the cost of its treatment. Such fees will create an incentive for the food industry, food distributors and caterers to donate surplus food rather than discarding it.