Will other countries follow suit?
France has become one of the first countries in the world to ban supermarkets from destroying or throwing away unsold food. The new law, which was passed unanimously by the French Senate, requires grocery stores and supermarkets to give out food that is approaching its best before date to charities or food banks, before any of it is thrown away. Supermarkets will also be barred from directly spoiling any food they no longer intend to sell.
The new law followed after campaigns by shoppers and anti-poverty campaigners, which included anyone that was against wasting food. In 2010, it was estimated that France was throwing away 7.1 million tons of food annually, a staggering amount of food wasted every year.
Food banks and charities all welcomed the new law, which supports their cause in providing homeless individuals and underprivileged communities with additional food.
Food banks and charities will be directly responsible for collecting any food stock that is in surplus from shops and supermarkets in hygienic conditions and distributing it with “dignity” according to the law. In other words, they will be required to give the food out at centers where a social environment could be created to speak to those in need, rather than simply handing food out in the streets.
France has certainly taken a giant leap forward in reducing food waste by giving food to those who need it most, and we just hope other countries will someday follow their lead.
Hat-tip: The Guardian