France Made It Illegal For Supermarkets To Throw Out Food

Roughtly 30% of food produced in the world goes to waste so France did something that we hope will be precedent-setting globally: it passed a law making it illegal for supermarkets to toss food into the garbage simply because it no longer can sell the food: 

 

It's been a reality for years that supermarkets would get rid of fruits and vegetables that were bruised or damaged. But beyond that, when foods pass their 'shelf life dates', they can no longer be sold but often that food is quite edible. 

Divert Food From Landfills

So France requires that supermarkets make contracts with food charities to get food redirected from landfills and into the mouths of the hungry across the country! Anything that is inedible for humans must be diverted towards animal foods or compost. 

Zero-Food Waste

Basically, this exciting shift puts France on a trajectory towards zero food waste!
While some may protest such regulation as adding additional businesses costs onto supermarkets that already battle razer-thin margins, many of us in the food community know that supermarkets are fully capable of becoming more efficient with their handling of foods they can no longer sell. And in many parts of the world such as the United States, grocery stores have to pay for waste haulers to take away their garbage, so in the long run hopefully, this will save them money. But regardless of the financial effects, this new paves the way for a massive reduction in food waste in France! 

Will More Countries Cut Food Waste?

We can only hope that other countries will follow suit. At more regional and local levels, city and state governments could pass such legislation and consult with the French about their experiences in implementing the laws.  



Alyssa Padarathsingh
Alyssa Padarathsingh

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