Vermont has long been praised as one of the greenest states in the US, and rightfully so. In 2019, the Green Mountain State passed into law the most comprehensive ban on single-use plastics in the US, setting a commendable standard for other states to follow.
In 2020 a bid to further their efforts at protecting the environment was put in place, when state officials passed legislation no longer allowing its residents to simply toss their food into trash cans, a decision intended to divert tons of food waste from ending up in landfills.
Under this law, Vermonters are required to compost any unfinished food – including inedible scraps like peels, eggshells, and pits – in their yard or through a professional compost facility.
Known as the Food Scrap Ban, the initiative addresses food waste from a few angles, by providing different options for drop-off and curb-side collection, along with resources to help residents compost at home.
The state, however, did not enforce the ban at the residential level. Instead, officials asked for voluntary compliance, which they overwhelmingly received! Even before the ban went into effect, 72 percent of Vermonters were composting at home or fed their food scraps to livestock, according to a study from the University of Vermont.
While Vermont was already a step ahead of most states when it comes to handling things in an eco-friendly way, the law advanced the state’s environmental record and serves as a model for others looking to address their problem of food waste.