On 29 April 2021, China’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), adopted a new law on preventing food waste by offering legal backing to the country’s efforts to safeguard food security and promote traditional virtue of thrift. The 32-article law was approved after two reviews, and it took effect immediately.
Under the newly enacted law, misleading or inducing excessive food ordering could face a fine of up to 10,000 yuan (about $1,543). Catering service providers could charge customers who leave excessive amounts of food waste a disposal fee, but rates for the charge must be clearly stated, according to the law.
Approximately 18 billion kilograms of food is wasted every year in China’s urban catering industry, according to a report based on nationwide field research carried out by NPC deputies.
The country also sees over 35 billion kilograms of grain loss at pre-consumption stages, including storage, transportation and processing, said the report.
The country’s top leadership called to prevent wasting food in August last year. From then on, the top legislative body has accelerated the steps in drafting the new law.