Retailers discard 6,630 metric tons of perishable food a year: EPA

Taipei, More than 6,500 metric tons of perishable food was thrown away over the past year by major fresh food retailers in Taiwan, according to data released recently by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).

The EPA said the figure has risen significantly since it first introduced a regulation that requires hypermarkets and supermarkets with paid-in capital of more than NT$25 million (US$850,000) to report their flow of food waste.

Since the regulation was implemented in March 2017 to prevent unscrupulous businesses from selling expired or waste food, the total amount of discarded perishable food reported has been 6,630.4 metric tons, the EPA said, citing a data valid as of the end of April.

In the first two months after the regulation took effect, the 1,273 retailers that it covers reported only about 100-200 tons of discarded food per month but that figure soon increased to over 400 metric tons per month, the EPA said.

According to the online reports filed by the retailers, most of the perishable food waste went to pig farms and compost plants, said Lai Ying-ying (???), the head of the EPA's Department of Waste Management.

She said the department will continue to conduct regular checks to ensure that discarded perishable food does not enter illegal channels.

However, in light of the large amount of discarded food in Taiwan, the department is encouraging retailers to reduce food waste by offering discounts on perishable items that are near their expiry date, Lai said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel