Like many countries around the world, France became aware that it was wasting many tons of food every year. In 2016, officials decided to do something about it and passed a law to stop large supermarkets from throwing out or destroying unsold food. The law forces large stores to sign donation contracts with charities and food banks, or face a penalty of 3,750 euros (nearly $4,000 USD). This allows food banks to provide millions more meals to needy citizens. France is the first country in the world to enact food waste legislation of this kind.
Waste not, want not:
- Some supermarkets were using bleach to spoil thrown-out food, ostensibly to prevent food poisoning among desperate, hungry people looking for food in garbage bins.
- Because of the new law, “we’ll be able to increase the quality and diversity of (the) food we get and distribute,” says Jacques Bailet, head of a network of French food banks.
- Food banks will be required to store donated food properly, and distribute it in an organized manner.