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

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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.

Article 14

Individuals shall pursue socially responsible, healthy, rational, and green consumption. When eating out, they shall order and take food reasonably according to their health conditions, eating habits, and dining needs.

In family life, families and their members shall cultivate and form science-proved and healthy habits that make the best use of food and prevent waste, and purchase, store and prepare food according to the actual needs of daily life.

Article 15

The state shall improve the standards for producing, storing, transporting, and processing food and other edible agricultural products, promote the use of new technologies, new techniques, and new equipment, guide moderate processing and comprehensive utilization, and reduce losses.

Food producers and operators shall take measures to improve food storage, transportation, and processing conditions to prevent food spoilage, reduce food losses during storage and transport, improve food processing and utilization, and avoid overprocessing and excessive use of raw materials.

Article 16

When formulating and revising relevant national, industrial and local standards, prevention of food waste shall be taken as an important consideration. Waste shall be prevented to the maximum extent on the premise of ensuring food safety.

Food shelf life shall be set scientifically and reasonably, marked prominently and made easily identifiable.

Article 17

People’s governments at all levels and their relevant departments shall establish supervision and inspection mechanisms against food waste, and promptly urge the rectification of food waste problems identified.

Where a food producer or operator seriously wastes food in the course of food production or marketing, market regulation authorities, commerce authorities and other authorities under the local people’s government at or above the county level may admonish its legal representative or principal leader. The admonished food producer or operator shall make immediate rectification.

Article 18

Government authorities, in conjunction with relevant authorities, shall establish evaluation and notification systems for the effectiveness of food waste reduction work in government organ cafeterias and incorporate food waste reduction into the assessment of energy and resources conservation of government organs and the establishment of energy-saving government organs.

Article 19

Associations of food and catering industries shall strengthen industry self-discipline, develop and implement food waste reduction and other related group standards and industry self-regulatory norms, publicize and popularize food waste prevention knowledge, promote advanced models, guide members to consciously carry out food waste reduction activities, and take necessary self-disciplinary measures against members with wasteful behaviors.

Associations of food and catering industries shall carry out food waste monitoring, strengthen analysis and assessment, and annually publish work progress against food waste and the results of monitoring and assessment, provide support for state organs to develop laws, regulations, policies, and standards and conduct research on relevant issues, and accept public supervision.

Consumers associations and other consumers organizations shall strengthen consumer education on food consumption, and encourage consumers to form the habits of consciously resisting waste.

Article 20

Government organs, people’s organizations, social organizations, enterprises, public institutions, and primary-level self-governance organizations shall incorporate practicing strict economy and combatting waste, as part of the public activities to raise cultural-ethical standards, into relevant role model evaluation systems, local codes of conduct for citizens and industry regulations, strengthen anti-food waste education and communication, promote the Clean Plate Campaign, advocate socially responsible, healthy and science-based dining culture, and enhance public awareness against food waste.

People’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant authorities shall continue to organize anti-food waste publicity and education, and make it an important part of the National Food Security Awareness Week.

Article 21

Education authorities shall guide and urge schools to strengthen anti-food waste education and management.

Schools shall carry out education on national conditions in accordance with regulations, make practicing strict economy and combating waste part of education and teaching, and in the form of learning, practice, and labor experience, carry out anti-food waste education activities to train students to form the habit of practicing thrift and frugality and saving food.

Schools shall establish supervision and inspection mechanisms to prevent food waste and develop and implement appropriate incentives and penalties.

Article 22

The news media shall popularize anti-food waste laws, regulations, standards and knowledge, cover role models, expose waste problems, guide the public to establish the appropriate concept of food consumption, and conduct media supervision of food waste. Anti-food waste publicity and reporting shall be true and fair.

The production, release, and dissemination of competitive eating and binge-eating programs or audios and videos on food wasting shall be banned.

Where online audio and video service providers find that a user has violated the provisions of the preceding paragraph, they shall immediately stop transmitting relevant information. Where the circumstances are serious, they shall stop providing information services.

Article 23

Civil affairs authorities, market regulation authorities and other authorities under local people’s governments at or above the county level shall establish demand matching mechanisms to guide food producers and operators to donate food to relevant social organizations, welfare institutions, relief agencies and other organizations or individuals on the premise of ensuring food safety. Relevant organizations shall receive and distribute food in a timely manner according to their needs.

The state encourages public participation in food donation activities. Online information service providers may set up platforms to provide services for food donations.

Article 24

Organizations, households, and individuals that generate food waste shall fulfill the obligations of food waste source reduction in accordance with the law.

Article 25

The state shall organize the monitoring of nutritional status and the universalization of nutrition knowledge to guide citizens to form good eating habits and reduce the risk of disease caused by unhealthy diets.

Article 26

People’s governments at or above the county level shall take measures to support scientific research and technological development designed to prevent food waste.

Government procurement of relevant goods and services shall be conducive to the prevention of food waste.

The state implements a tax policy conducive to the prevention of food waste.

Article 27

Organizations and individuals have the right to report to relevant government departments and organs any act of food waste by food producers or operators. The government departments and organs that receive the reports shall deal with them in time in accordance with the law.

Article 28

Where, in violation of the provisions of this Law, a catering service operator does not take the initiative to remind diners not to waste food, it shall be ordered to make corrections and given a warning by the market regulation authorities of or a department designated by the local people’s government at or above the county level.

Where, in violation of the provisions of this Law, a catering service operator deceives or misleads diners to overorder and cause obvious waste, it shall be ordered to make corrections and given a warning by the market regulation authorities of or a department designated by the local people’s government at or above the county level. Where it refuses to make corrections, a fine of between RMB1,000 and RMB10,000 shall be imposed on it.

Where, in violation of the provisions of this Law, a food producer or operator causes a serious waste of food during the production and operation progress, it shall be ordered to make corrections by the market regulation authorities of or a department designated by the local people’s government at or above the county level. Where it refuses to make corrections, a fine of between RMB5,000 and RMB50,000 shall be imposed on it.

Article 29

Where, in violation of the provisions of this Law, an organization having a cafeteria does not develop or implement measures to prevent food waste, it shall be ordered to make corrections and given a warning by a department designated by the local people’s government at or above the county level.

Article 30

Where, in violation of the provisions of this Law, a radio station, television station, or online audio and video service provider produces, releases, disseminates, and promotes competitive eating and binge-eating programs or audios and videos on food wasting shall be ordered by the radio and TV authority and the cyberspace authority, in accordance with their respective responsibilities, to make corrections and given a warning. Where it refuses to make corrections or where the circumstances are serious, a fine of between RMB10,000 and RMB100,000 shall be imposed on it, and it may be ordered to suspend relevant business or suspend operation for rectification, and the leaders directly responsible and direct offenders shall be held legally liable in accordance with the law.

Article 31

The provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities divided into districts, and autonomous prefectures shall develop their specific local anti-food waste measures in accordance with their specific circumstances and practical needs.

Article 32

This Law shall come into force on the date of promulgation.

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