French lawmakers have passed a bill that will significantly improve the issue of food waste. Its main targets are big supermarkets who destroy gigantic amounts of food that cannot be sold, but that could still be eaten. From now on, they will be obligated to donate this type of food to various charities and animal protection organizations.
This bill proposed by Guillaume Garot, the Socialist Deputy, has received unanimous votes from the National Assembly on Thursday, and has therefore passed with flying colors, in the hope that it will be instituted as quickly as possible.
“It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods.”, said Guillaume Garot.
One of the most important issues covered by this bill is the fact that supermarkets deliberately spoiling food is strictly forbidden. Supermarkets used to make sure that the food they threw away was not edible at that point so as to make sure that it is not stolen from their bin. One of the most common methods was to poor detergents and chemicals over it.
Instead of this wasteful practice, they will henceforth be required to have contracts with various charity organizations, that put the food that would otherwise just be destroyed to extremely good use.
There are very many factors that may compel a supermarket to retract various kinds of products from its shelves. For instance, food and vegetables that did not meet the physical criteria required for the products that can be sold used to be thrown away.
This meant that because they might have had a few bumps and bruises here and there, they would have been destroyed, despite the fact that they were perfectly edible. From now on, these fruit and vegetables could be donated to places like soup kitchens, that use a large amount of food at once, and could therefore be put to good use.
Another example would be all the food whose expiration date is approaching soon . Some of them get retracted even one or more days before they actually expire. Now, instead of being wasted, they can make their way into the hands of people who desperately need them.
Strict boundaries will obviously have to be instated, so that the transportation time of the food be as short as possible, ensuring it a better longevity. There is a great possibility that the proximity between the supermarkets and the various charities will play a key role in how the contracts will be made.
Furthermore, there is also a timeline in which this whole endeavor needs to be set up. By July 2015, the supermarkets who do not have contracts that ensure that their food is put to good use will have to pay fines as high as £53,000. In the case that they refuse to comply, there is even penitence by jail time stipulated in the new law.
In addition to the new responsibilities that large-scale supermarkets will have to face, the bill also includes plans to lower individual food waste that feature awareness campaigns and programs that will conducted in schools and various companies.
Reducing food waste is a concern that every country should have, as it is one of the key issues of our generation, because it has a multitude of implications on both food production companies and the environment, as it contributes to climate change.
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