France Bans Food Waste in Supermarkets

Supermarkets will now be required to donate excess food to feed the homeless.


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A law prohibiting French supermarkets from throwing away excess food went into effect February 3. Approved by the French parliament in late 2015 and requiring that supermarkets partner with food banks to donate food to the homeless instead of throwing it awa, retailers face fines of up to $4,200 if they do not comply or tamper with food that is suitable for consumption. Approximately 1.7 billion tons of food is wasted globally every year, while one in nine people does not have enough food to lead a healthy, active life. While all unsold items, including meat and dairy, will be donated, this law will also make fresh produce available to those who cannot afford it and dramatically reduce food waste. The US government recently announced its goal to reduce food waste 50 percent by 2030. However, no such law has been considered stateside.

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