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French supermarkets to give away unsold food

AFP/The Local · 22 May 2015, 08:33

Published: 22 May 2015 08:33 GMT+02:00

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In a rare show of unity France's parliament voted unanimously Thursday to ban food waste in big supermarkets, notably by outlawing the destruction of unsold food products.

"It's scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods," said Socialist member of parliament Guillaume Garot who sponsored the bill.

Under the new legislation, supermarkets will have to take measures to prevent food waste and will be forced to donate any unsold but still edible food goods to charity or for use as animal feed or farming compost.

All large-sized supermarkets will have to sign contracts with a charity group to facilitate food donations.

But contrary to what you might imagine, some charities are against the idea that supermarkets hand them over their out-of-date food.

For Patrice Dallem, from the Red Cross, it would mean unaffordable “logistical and human costs” for charities if it was their responsibility to hand out the food.

Another Frenchman aiming to raise awareness about Europe's wastage is Baptiste Dubanche, who last year undertook a 3,000km journey from Paris to Warsaw surviving solely on food he salvaged from waste bins.
“The project has been a way for me to protest,” he told The Local at the time. “If we produced less, food would become more precious to us.”

French people throw away between 20 to 30 kilos (44 to 66 pounds) of food per person per year costing an estimated 12 to 20 billion euros ($13-22 billion) annually.

Story continues below…

The government is hoping to slice food waste in half by 2025.


AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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