Kroger is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to set industry standards that would eliminate food waste.
The head of the EPA met with company leaders today to hear what the roadblocks are. 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 it 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 than there is no need for the federal government to step in," he says.
But Kroger says in the absence of regulation, the cost of relabeling would likely deter companies from getting on board.
Jessica Adelman is the Chief Social Impact Officer at Kroger. She explains the process the company goes through to avoid sending food to landfills. "The goal first is to sell it to happy customers, then after that we mark it down, then we donate it to people, after that it goes to animal feed then composting and only in the last resort to a landfill," she says.
Kroger officials told Wheeler they want an increase in composting infrastructure and funding for more anaerobic digestors which micro-organisms break down into biodegradable material.