France forces supermarkets to donate unsold goods
The French government last week voted in new laws which will make it illegal for supermarkets to throw away unwanted food.
Voted in unanimously, supermarkets can either donate the food or break it down into animal feed or compost if it is not safe for human consumption.
France’s supermarkets will also not be allowed to let food spoil in an effort to avoid giving it to charities.
The laws were brought in with French politicians saying that the country’s charities were in desperate need of food.
Many of the country’s supermarkets have a history of trying to stomp ‘dumpster diving’ a practice where consumers look through supermarket dumpsters searching for edible food.
The practice is also common in Australia and other parts of the world.
Some French supermarkets have been pouring bleach on food thrown into dumpsters to deter divers. They have also been doing this in hopes of avoiding lawsuits from people consuming off goods.
Other stores have been locking their bins away in large warehouses out of reach from the public.
Supermarkets are now being forced to sign agreements with charities outlining their plans for donation by July 2016. If supermarkets fail to do so they can be issued large fines or jail time.
France is currently in the middle of a campaign to cut its food waste in half by 2025.
Australia has numerous non-profit organisations, some of which are co-sponsored by industries and governments, to rescue food from wastage or to improve food security and supply sustainability for Australians in need. These include Oz Harvest, Foodbank Australia and others. It is believed that Australians discard up to 20 per cent of all food they purchase.
In late 2014 Woolworths started selling odd-shaped fruit and vegetable with blemishes that would have been otherwise wasted. Woolworths sells the fruit and vegetables at a discounted rate and claims they made the decision to introduce the produce in efforts to cut waste.