WasteDIVE recently published an article on Wasteless, a startup aiming to reduce waste while saving customers and retailers money. The technology tags perishable foods in stores by replacing the bar codes on products with an RFID chip. The RFID chip tracks items’ expiration dates, and detects the appropriate price to encourage items to sell. Soon to expire products are discounted to a lower cost. In addition to the startup’s aim of reducing waste, Wasteless is also working towards re-capturing the $1 billion lost in grocery sales every week due to unsold past-date inventory.
Wasteless has proven to be different from other electronic shelf labels, as its goal is reducing waste. However, there continues to be confusion regarding date labeling terms. The Food Waste Reduction Alliance and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic recently partnered to recommend standardized date labels on food products. These labels will be less confusing for consumers and result in less disposal of past-date foods that are still safe to eat. It is also challenging to encourage customers to purchase food that is odd, bruised, or nearly expired. Therefore, combining the concept of cost incentivizing with smart solutions such as RFID streamlines this process and makes it easier for stores to reduce their food waste.
The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic created a fact sheet on Date Labeling Laws that is available in the RecyclingWorks Food Donation Guidance for Massachusetts Businesses. RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts assists businesses and institutions with recycling and food waste diversion. To speak to a recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org..