Implement a tax-incentive/disincentive system to combat food waste in Los Angeles.
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We demand that the Los Angeles City Council create a universal tax incentive system to mitigate food waste. LA should remain on the forefront of progressive policy and responsible stewardship, and lead the world in this regard.
Food waste is an incredibly complex, overlooked issue. It exists at all levels of production, from the farm to the factory to the consumer, in all countries. In total, an entire third (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 2016) of all food produced is wasted. Consumers alone in the US waste up to 40% of edible food. (Gunders, 2012) It is an insidious issue which is often normalized, resulting in many, quiet problems. Food waste is a problem which unnecessarily incurs huge economic losses, has a large environmental impact and is a travesty to basic human health and society everywhere. While food waste is an issue which is global, it must also be tackled at the local level to be able to make a dent. The city of Los Angeles should step in and do their part serving their constituents by bringing forth intelligent policy aimed at reducing this egregiously ignored problem.
An effective solution that would bring down the median food-waste in Los Angeles while not creating bureaucratic overload, stifling businesses or pulling taxes away from other vital services would be the creation of a comprehensive incentive/disincentive system maintained by a food waste board with collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Waste Management services. Such a system, especially if incorporated with pre-existing ones, would reduce and mitigate the potential issues associated with food waste in a natural, economically sensible, manner.
In such a system, those businesses with a percentage of food waste higher than the median will have an additional tax placed upon them, and those with food waste lower than the median will have tax cuts. This will allow businesses to find their own ways to lower food waste, while at the same time not being a huge additional tax burden on LA citizens.
Implementing sensible solutions to food waste at the local level, especially in such a pioneering city such as Los Angeles, will lead to more cities, maybe eventually California and the world, adopting modern food waste policies.
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