Skip to main content

Policy Issue: Food Waste Deterrence

Governments should establish laws that require that food be recovered and donated instead of going to waste. Our issue brief outlines common obstacles around food waste deterrence, also known as food donation requirements, and policy best practices.

Read the Issue Brief

Atlas Research: Food Waste Deterrence

Issue Brief Icon

Issue Brief

The issue brief provides an overview of various food waste deterrence policies and highlights best practices around the world that shift business as usual from discarding to donating safe, surplus food.

English Spanish
Webinar Icon

Webinar Synopsis

We brought together government stakeholders for an in-depth conversation about food waste deterrence policies.

Read Synopsis

Best Practices for Food Waste Deterrence Policy

All countries should implement the following best practices to ensure that food is not lost or wasted:

Legislation icon

Pass a food waste deterrence policy

Enact a food donation requirement for actors along the food supply chain and/or enact an organic waste disposal ban independently, or with a food donation requirement.

local icon

Pilot policies on the state and local level

In the absence of a national policy, provide support for state, provincial, and local governments enacting regional and local food waste deterrence laws.

lightbulb icon

Test and invest in innovative policy ideas and technical assistance

Governments can experiment with innovative policy designs that financially disincentivize food waste, invest in food recovery infrastructure, and provide technical assistance.


Countries with Strong Policies: Food Waste Deterrence Policies

Ecuador flag


Ecuador’s FLW Law bans disposing food that is fit for human consumption and includes a hierarchy of alternative uses such as donating to a food bank, feeding animals, producing renewable energy, and composting.

Show more +

Anybody who disposes food fit for human consumption is subject to a fine.

Show less -
Global Foodbanking Network map Global Foodbanking Network map with key

Mapping food donation policies around the world

The Atlas evaluates laws and policies across the most relevant issue areas relating to food donation and food loss and waste. Explore the map to compare and contrast existing legislation and learn from best practices around the world.

Explore Interactive Map

Learn more about The Atlas and how to support this work.

Page with Checkmark Icon
About Us

Learn about the project and the partners behind this flagship research.


Read our detailed project methodology rooted in inclusion, accuracy, and transparency.

Communication bubbles icon
Contact Us

Connect with our project team and learn about opportunities to join and support our work.