The French government prohibits supermarkets from throwing away food that can still be consumed. It forces you to donate that food to charities. This is the first measure of the French government to fight against food waste.
The French National Assembly voted unanimously to approve this legislation. All MPs united in a rare cross-party consensus, as there is absolute urgency – charities are desperate for food.
Those supermarkets with an area of 400 m2 or more will have to sign contracts with charities, with penalties for breaking the law of up to € 75,000 or two years in prison.
“It is scandalous to see bleach poured into supermarket garbage cans along with edible food , “ said Socialist deputy Guillaume Garot, who proposed the bill.
In recent years, the French media have exposed how poor families, students, the unemployed or the homeless often sneak feed from supermarket bins when night falls.
But some supermarkets spray food with bleach to prevent these people from scooping food out of containers. Other supermarkets store containers in locked warehouses for collection by garbage trucks.
The measures are part of a broader initiative to halve the amount of food waste in France by 2025. According to official estimates, the average Frenchman throws 20kg-30kg of food into the garbage per year – 7kg of which is still in its packaging. The national cost of this garbage is about 20 billion euros.
Of the 7.1 million tonnes of food wasted in France each year, 67% is disposed of by consumers, 15% by restaurants and 11% in shops and supermarkets. Every year 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted around the world.