Kroger Co. is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to get other food retailers to take steps that would eliminate food waste. The grocery chain says it wants to end hunger in communities it serves and eliminate waste by 2025. As part of that, the company proposes replacing the “best when used by” date found on many packages. Kroger says that can lead people to throw out good food and that more specific labeling could help reduce food waste.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says regulation may not be necessary. “If the industry themselves can come up with a program to standardize best-by dates, for example, then there is no need for the federal government to step in,” he said.
Kroger officials are hoping for voluntary participation from others in the industry. “We discussed Kroger and the food retail industry’s proactive efforts to help limit consumer food waste by improving date labels on products,” Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey said. “We hope that our leadership on this topic – through our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment – will help spur other food retailers to voluntarily adopt a similar approach.”