Press Release

MOE discloses the estimated amount of Japan's food loss and waste generated in FY 2018

April 27, 2021

(Tokyo, April 27) The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) announced the estimated amount of Japan's food loss and waste generated in the 2018 fiscal year. The estimated total amount of food loss and waste generated (including inedible portion) was approximately 25.31 million tons. Within this amount, it is estimated that approximately 6 million tons was edible. The reduction of food loss and waste is a key challenge to build a circular economy. MOE, MAFF, and the Consumer Affairs Agency will cooperate with relevant government offices, local governments, and companies to promote food loss and waste reduction efforts.

Minister KOIZUMI Shinjiro declared:

The estimated amount of food loss and waste* generated in FY 2018 was approximately 6 million tons, with a reduction of 120 thousand tons compared to the previous year. Japan aims to further reduce the amount of food loss and waste generation* to 4.89 million by FY 2030, halving the amount of food loss and waste compared to FY 2000. Reducing around 120 thousand tons of food loss and waste every year is not an easy task. The Ministry of the Environment will firmly team up with companies and local governments and work on the reduction of food loss and waste*.

*(Edible but wasted) food loss and waste

Currently, the government of Japan has been promoting efforts** implemented by the national government, local governments, and companies in order to limit the generation of food loss and waste and promote recycling. Especially, Japan has been promoting actions to reduce food loss and waste based on the Act on Promotion of Food Loss and Waste Reduction.

** Efforts are based on the Food Recycling Act.

The amount of food waste generated by businesses was reported by companies under the Food Recycling Act. The amount of food waste originating from households was calculated by a survey conducted by local governments. The estimated amount of food waste generated in FY 2018 was approximately 25.31 million tons, of which 6 million tons were thrown away despite being edible. (See the following table)

The reduction of food loss and waste is addressed in one of the targets set forth by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The target is to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels by 2030.

In line with the SDGs, Japan committed to halving food waste at the retail and consumer levels by FY 2030 compared to FY 2000. This target is based on the Fourth Fundamental Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society (Cabinet decision on June 19,, 2018) and the basic policy of the Food Recycling Act (announced on July 12, 2019). Moreover, the government will promote comprehensive efforts to achieve the food loss and waste reduction target in line with the Act on Promotion of Food Loss and Waste Reduction (Cabinet decision on March 31, 2019).

The Estimated Amount of Food Loss and Waste (FLW)

Unit: million tons

Total FLW including inedible portion

FLW excluding inedible portion

Out of household

Households

Out of household

Household

FY 2018

25.31

17.65

7.66

6.00

3.24

2.76

FY 2017

25.50

17.67

7.83

6.12

3.28

2.84

FY 2016

27.59

19.70

7.89

6.43

3.52

2.91

FY 2015

28.42

20.10

8.32

6.46

3.57

2.89

FY 2014

27.75

19.53

8.22

6.21

3.39

2.82

FY 2013

27.97

19.27

8.70

6.32

3.30

3.02

FY 2012

28.01

19.16

8.85

6.42

3.31

3.12

MOE's initiatives

(1) Promotion of "mottECO"

Aiming to familiarize people with the practice of bringing home leftovers from restaurants, MOE held the "Contest for a New Doggy Bag Idea" as one of its food loss and waste reduction efforts. As part of the contest, new names to replace the term "doggy bag" were submitted to MOE.  As a result, "mottECO", meaning both "more eco-friendly" and "taking home", was selected as the grand prize winner in October, 2020.

The logo of "mottECO" URL:http://www.env.go.jp/recycle/food/motteco.html

(2) Promotion of food drive

MOE has been promoting food drives, which involve the donation of edible surplus food from households to food banks, people and organizations in need. Food drives are important to not only reduce food loss and waste but also to support less fortunate people. From now on, MOE will team up with local governments and companies, conduct surveys related to food drives, and publish data collected through the surveys.

(3) Donating to food banks

MOE donates to food banks unused stocks of food set aside for natural disasters, when being replaced with new stocks of food. This is important not only to reduce food loss and waste but also to support people in need.

Ayuko Kobayakawa

Deputy Director

Office for Recycling Promotion,
Environmental Regeneration & Resource Circulation Bureau,

Ministry of the Environment, Japan

+81-3-6205-4946

For Japanese

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