North America

North America focuses on educating the public

The United States and Canada have both launched national food waste reduction campaigns. Authorities are further pushing towards educating households and businesses on the issue with various cities, provinces and states now leading the way for others to follow.

Countries in Focus

United States

To help galvanize national efforts to reduce food loss and waste, the USDA and EPA announced the United States’ first-ever food loss and waste reduction goal in September 2015, calling for a 50% reduction by 2030 (USDA, 2015). There is also the 'Winning on Reducing Food Waste' initiative which is aimed at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies, in order to better educate Americans on the impact and importance of reducing food loss and waste.

Several other federal food waste policies (REFED, 2019) are now underway and cities are starting initiatives. Austin, Texas, is amongst those cities that has now committed to becoming a zero waste city by 2040. Diversion programs ensure food and other organics are put to best use away from landfills within a universal recycling ordinance (Austin Tex Gov, 2014).


Canada’s National Food Waste Reduction Strategy (NZWC, 2017) is a coordinated national effort to halve per capita food waste by 2030, through a supply chain approach that would close the loop. The federal government is yet to approve this strategy or move on a national food policy action.

In July 2018, the Council and its campaign partners launched a national food waste reduction campaign: Love Food Hate Waste Canada. To encourage this shared mission, a set of recommended methodologies (NZWC, 2018) on how to measure food waste have been set out for all stakeholders to follow. Provinces such as Ontario have launched an additional action plan (Province of Ontario, 2017) to reduce food waste. To better coordinate the food system at a regional level, Metro Vancouver adopted a Regional Food System Strategy (Metro Vancouver, 2016) with a vision to create, “a sustainable, resilient and healthy food system that will contribute to the well-being of all residents and the economic prosperity of the region while conserving our ecological legacy.” Amongst those goals is to build a Food System Consistent with Ecological Health, through directing research, education and awareness on food waste, as well as developing initiatives to support municipal efforts in reducing organic waste and food packaging in their communities.

Want to find more information on food waste? Then click here.