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Is Throwing Food Out The Window Littering?

In a world where we throw away nearly one-third of the food we produce, and where 40 percent of trash in landfills is food waste, it’s time to take a hard look at our relationship with food.

Food waste is a serious issue in the U.S. and around the world, but throwing it away does not mean it has no impact on the environment. Food waste doesn’t just disappear once it’s thrown away — it can pollute soil, water and air.

As Americans, we throw out about 400 pounds of food per person each year. This adds up to about $1,600 per family!

In addition to being wasteful and costing us money, we need to take into account the environmental impact of food waste when throwing it out. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that roughly 33 million tons of municipal solid waste are generated annually by American households. Of that total, about 12 percent (or 3 million tons) is made up of organic materials such as food scraps and yard trimmings. These types of materials decompose slowly or not at all if they are buried in landfills or burned for energy generation without first being composted or digested anaerobically (without oxygen).

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Last modified: October 11, 2022