France passes law that forbids food waste
France has become the first country in the world to stop supermarkets from destroying unsold food.
The move passed unanimously by the French government means that charities and food banks will now receive the unsold food aiding millions.
Campaigners are hoping the rest of the European Union will follow suit.
Now bosses of supermarkets with a footprint of 400 sq metres (4,305 sq ft) or more will have to sign donation contracts with charities or face a penalty of €3,750 (£2,900).
Jacques Bailet, head of Banques Alimentaires, a network of French food banks, described the law as “positive and very important symbolically.”
“Most importantly, because supermarkets will be obliged to sign a donation deal with charities, we’ll be able to increase the quality and diversity of food we get and distribute,” he said. “In terms of nutritional balance, we currently have a deficit of meat and a lack of fruit and vegetables. This will hopefully allow us to push for those products.”
Of the 7.1 million tonnes of food wasted in France annually, 67% is thrown out by consumers, 15% by restaurants and 11% by shops. Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food are wasted worldwide.
This move means that more than 1.5 billion free meals will be handed out to those in need rather than going to waste.