Press Release

June 09, 2022
  • Waste & Recycling

MOE Japan discloses the estimated amount of Japan's food loss and waste generated in FY2020

<Simultaneously announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Consumer Affairs Agency in Japanese>

1. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Japan, announced the estimated amount of Japan's food loss and waste (FLW), excluding inedible parts, generated in FY2020.

2. The estimated total amount of FLW generated in FY2020 was approximately 5.22 million tons. 

3. The reduction of FLW is a key challenge to build resource circulation and a carbon-neutral economy. MOE Japan will cooperate with relevant government offices, local governments, and business operators to further promote FLW reduction efforts.

■ Estimated Amount of Japan's FLW in FY2020

In order to reduce the amount of FLW (including items treated as valuables) and promote recycling, Japan has been promoting efforts by the national government, local governments, and business operators, based on the Food Recycling Act. In particular, Japan has been promoting actions to reduce FLW as a national movement based on the Act on Promotion of Food Loss and Waste Reduction (Act No. 19 of 2019).

The amount of FLW generated by businesses was estimated based on reports from business operators under the Food Recycling Act. The amount of FLW originating from households was calculated through a survey conducted by local governments. The estimated amount of FLW thrown away despite being edible in FY2020 was approximately 5.22 million tons (see the table below).

The reduction of FLW is addressed in one of the targets set forth by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations on September 25, 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The target is to halve per capita global FLW by 2030.

In Japan, 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) set up the target to halve FLW from households and businesses from the FY2000 level by FY2030. Moreover, the "Basic Policy on Promotion of Food Loss and Waste Reduction," based on the Act on Promotion of Food Loss and Waste Reduction (Cabinet decision on March 31, 2019) also stipulates that the national government is to promote comprehensive efforts to achieve the FLW reduction target.
Table: Estimated Amount of FLW (excluding inedible parts)
  Amount of FLW Generated
Total From businesses From households
FY2020 5.22 million tons 2.75 million tons 2.47 million tons
FY2019 5.70 million tons 3.09 million tons 2.61 million tons
FY2018 6.00 million tons 3.24 million tons 2.76 million tons
FY2017 6.12 million tons 3.28 million tons 2.84 million tons
FY2016 6.43 million tons 3.52 million tons 2.91 million tons
FY2015 6.46 million tons 3.57 million tons 2.89 million tons
FY2014 6.21 million tons 3.39 million tons 2.82 million tons
FY2013 6.32 million tons 3.30 million tons 3.02 million tons
FY2012 6.42 million tons 3.31 million tons 3.12 million tons
* The total and the sum of breakdowns may not coincide due to rounding.


■ MOE Japan’s Initiatives

MOE Japan has created and has been updating a portal site named FLW Portal (in Japanese) that provides aggregated information on FLW so that individual entities can obtain accurate and easy-to-understand information. This dedicated webpage is divided into three, respectively targeting consumers, local governments, and business operators, and is designed to enable individual viewers to obtain necessary information easily.
Please access the webpage from the following URL:

Major initiatives:

(1) Support for model projects

MOE Japan solicits and supports model business projects with a view to creating pioneering cases that allow further reduction of edible FLW and FLW recycling in an effective way and to disseminate information across different sectors.

In FY2022, MOE Japan selected a total of nine projects, including three projects to create Zero FLW Areas, two projects to introduce the mottECO initiative, two projects to promote FLW recycling and edible FLW reduction, and two projects to promote FLW recycling and edible FLW reduction regarding school lunches.

The brief outline of model projects implemented in FY2021 is available from FLW Portal.

(2) Publication of Food Drive Introduction (in Japanese)

MOE Japan formulated the Food Drive Introduction to assist local governments and local community groups to run a food drive.
The Food Drive Introduction is available from the FLW Portal or the press release at the following URL:

(3) Publication of Manual for FLW Reduction Efforts of Local Government Employees

MOE Japan has compiled the implementation flow and key points of 20 advanced initiatives to reduce FLW from the efforts of local governments in order to further promote FLW reduction in local governments.
The manual is available from the FLW Portal.

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