– Published on
September 7, 2023

New food waste law in Sweden will challenge retailer's waste routines

On January 1 2024 a new law will be implemented in Sweden. The law is inspired by the EU's Waste Directive and will bring big changes for food retailers, restaurants, and households. Here is a little summary of what we know so far.

What's changing?

  • By January 1, 2024, all citizens and companies in Sweden I bound to separate their biological waste from its packaging, and compost the food waste. This move aims to handle an extra 400,000 tons of food waste annually and repurpose it for biogas and fertilizer and such.
  • The EU wants bio-waste, like food scraps, to be recycled. Currently, Sweden recycles 38% of its municipal waste, but by 2025, we're aiming for at least 55%. That's a big leap!

Why does it matter?

  • Instead of wasting food, we're recycling it smartly. Plus, it's great for making biogas and fertilizers, which can fuel vehicles and boost agriculture.
  • The cost of living crisis and the high food prices has made more people experiencing food insecurity, this law might entice grocers to discount with appropriate percentage so that people who's on a budget can enjoy the food instead of It going to waste.

What does it mean for food retailers?

All biological waste must be separated from it’s packaging, and what I can gather it also has to be handled on site and not by a third-party supplier. This will for sure entail bigger labour costs for retailers. The good thing is, that it might push the industry to reduce food waste more proactively. For example with better expiry date controls, more accurate procurement and also work actively with discounting food with nearing expiry dates.

How will it be reinforced?

That is still to be found out. When I know, I'll let you know!

Regardless, it's a step towards a greener, more sustainable Sweden, and everyone – from big retailers to your kitchen – needs to get on board!


Fia Sjöström
Content Creator & Marketing specialist

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