California grocery stores must donate all edible food under new “composting” law

A new law in California, that came into effect at the beginning of January, requires that supermarkets and grocery stores donate all edible food they usually would have disposed of and sent to landfills.

The new law, Senate Bill 1383, affects how the state of California and its food distributors treat food waste to decrease the amount of garbage that will end up in landfills.

It also requires all Californians throw rotting food, tea bags, coffee grounds, banana peels, fruit peels and other leftovers into the compost bins they use for garden trimmings.

More than half of the trash produced in California is organic matter. It is understood that the requirements by law will prevent 17.7 million tonnes of organic material from being sent to the landfill. Instead, the food scraps will be turned into compost, which cities will be required to purchase, or energy.

Senate Bill 1383, passed by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 2016, otherwise known as the “composting” law is the biggest policy shift since the state introduced curbside recycling in the 1990s. The law aims to improve soil quality, drought resistance, and crops by returning organic matter to the land, but also reduce pressure on landfills.

California aims to reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfills by 75% by 2025.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living

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