Law of the People's Republic of China on Food Waste

Updated: 2021-04-29

Order of the President of the People's Republic of China

No. 78

The Law of the People's Republic of China on Food Waste has been adopted at the 28th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on April 29, 2021, and is hereby promulgated and shall come into force as of the date of promulgation.

                                    Xi Jinping

                     President of the People's Republic of China

                                   April 29, 2021

Law of the People's Republic of China on Food Waste

(Adopted at the 28th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress on April 29, 2021)

Article 1

This Law is developed in accordance with the Constitution for the purposes of preventing food waste, safeguarding national food security, promoting the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation, practicing the core socialist values, conserving resources, protecting the environment, and promoting sustainable economic and social development.

Article 2

The food referred to in this Law means the food provided in the Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China, including all kinds of food for human consumption or drinking.

Food waste referred to in this Law refers to the failure to use food that is safe to eat or drink in accordance with its functional purpose, including waste and the reduction in quantity or quality of food due to unreasonable use.

Article 3

The state practices economy and opposes waste.

The state takes technically feasible and economically reasonable measures to prevent and reduce food waste in accordance with the principles of multiple measures, targeted policies, effective management, and public participation.

The state calls for socially responsible, healthy, resource-saving, and environmentally friendly ways of consumer spending and advocates a simple, moderate, eco-friendly and low-carbon lifestyle.

Article 4

People's governments at all levels shall strengthen the leadership over food waste reduction work, define food waste reduction goals and tasks, establish sound anti-food waste work mechanisms, organize food waste monitoring, investigation, analysis and evaluation, strengthen regulation, and advance food waste reduction work.

Local people's governments at or above the county level shall annually publicize the work progress in reducing food waste, propose measures to strengthen efforts in this field, and continue to promote food waste reduction throughout society.

Article 5

The development and reform authorities under the State Council shall strengthen the organization and coordination of efforts against food waste nationwide, and, in conjunction with other relevant authorities under the State Council, analyze and assess the food waste situation each year, make overall plans for reducing food waste, and adopt measures and guidelines for implementation by competent authorities.

The commerce authorities under the State Council shall strengthen the management of the catering industry, and establish sound industry standards and service specifications, and, in conjunction with the market regulation authorities and other authorities under the State Council, establish anti-food waste systems and norms for the catering industry, take measures to encourage catering service operators to provide individual meal services and disclose their practice of minimizing food waste.

The market regulation authorities under the State Council shall strengthen the anti-food waste regulation on food producers and operators and urge them to implement anti-food waste measures.

The national food and strategic reserves authorities shall make grain storage and circulation more food-saving and loss-reducing, and in conjunction with relevant authorities under the State Council, organize the implementation of food storage, transportation, and processing standards.

Relevant authorities under the State Council shall carry out anti-food waste work in accordance with this Law and their respective responsibilities defined by the State Council.

Article 6

Government organs, people's organizations, state-owned enterprises, and public institutions shall specify and improve the standards for official receptions, meetings, training sessions and other official activities in accordance with relevant state regulations, strengthen administration, and take the lead in saving food and opposing waste.

Where meals are required for official activities, the number and form of meals shall be arranged according to the actual situation, and shall not exceed the prescribed standards.

Article 7

Catering service providers shall take the following measures to prevent food waste:

(1) establish sound food purchase, storage, and processing management systems, strengthen the vocational training of service personnel, and incorporate saving food and avoiding food waste into the training content;

(2) take the initiative to remind customers to prevent food waste, post or place anti-food waste signs in prominent locations, or have service staff give instructions or explanations to guide customers to order the right amount of food as needed;

(3) improve the quality of catering supply, make food in accordance with standards and specifications, reasonably determine quantities and portions, and provide different portion size options such as smaller portions;

(4) in case of group dining services, incorporate the concept of preventing food waste into the menu design, and prepare dishes and staples reasonably in accordance with the number of diners; and

(5) in case of buffet services, take the initiative to inform diners of the consumption rules and requirements for preventing food waste, provide different sizes of tableware, and remind customers to take the appropriate amount of food.

Catering service operators shall not deceive or mislead diners to overorder.

Catering service operators may enrich the menu information by specifying food weight, the portion size, and recommended number of diners on the menu, give them ordering tips, and provide public spoons and chopsticks, and doggy bags as required.

Catering service operators may reward diners who participate in the Clean Plate Campaign; they may also charge customers who cause obvious waste the corresponding fees for handling food waste at clearly stated rates.

Catering service operators may use information technology to analyze dining needs and develop central kitchens and distribution centers to carry out effective management of food procurement, transportation, storage, and processing.

Article 8

Organizations that have cafeterias shall establish sound cafeteria meal management systems, develop and implement measures to prevent food waste, and strengthen publicity and education to increase public awareness against food waste.

These cafeterias shall strengthen the dynamic management of food purchase, storage, and processing, purchase food and prepare and serve meals in accordance with the number of potential diners, improve the utilization rate of raw materials and cooking skills, provide food in accordance with the principles of promoting good health, practicing economy, and following standards, and focus on dietary balance.

These cafeterias shall improve the way meals are served, post or place in prominent positions anti-food waste signs to guide the diners to order and take meals in moderate portions, and promptly remind diners of food waste behaviors to amend such behaviors.

Article 9

Schools shall monitor, analyze and evaluate the number and composition of the diners, and strengthen the management of the catering service in school cafeterias. Schools which use off-campus meal providers shall establish sound mechanisms for selecting and changing meal providers on a merit basis.

School cafeterias and off-campus meal providers shall refine their management process, provide meals according to demand, improve the way meals are provided, serve science-based and nutritional meals, diversify portion sizes and taste options, collect feedbacks of diners regularly, and ensure the quality of dishes and staples.

Article 10

Catering takeaway platforms should remind customers in a noticeable way to order in moderation. Where a catering service operator provides services through a catering takeaway platform, it shall provide customers with information such as food portions, specifications or the recommended number of diners on the platform page.

Article 11

Tour operators shall encourage tourists to have socially responsible and healthy dining behaviors. Travel agencies and tour guides shall make well-considered arrangements for group meals, and remind tourists to order and take meals in moderation. Relevant industries shall include tour operators' efforts to discourage food waste in the indicators for relevant quality standard rating.

Article 12

Supermarkets, shopping malls and other food operators shall strengthen daily inspection of their food business, manage the near-expired foods by type, put special marks on them or display and sell them in designated areas.

Article 13

People's governments at all levels and their relevant departments shall take measures to oppose extravagance and waste, encourage and promote socially responsible and frugal activities, and develop an atmosphere whereby waste is shameful and frugality is virtuous.

Where there is a need for dining during weddings, funerals, gatherings with friends and family, and business activities, organizers and participants shall prepare or order moderate meals and dine in a socially responsible and healthy manner.

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