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France Tackles Food Waste, Fight Goes Global

French supermarkets will be required to donate unused food to charities or turn it into animal feed under a new law aimed at curbing food waste.

The French National assembly passed a law in May that would hand down penalties of more than $80,000 or two years in jail for throwing away edible food that is damaged or past the sell-by date. Other food waste would be sent to farms to feed livestock.

The campaign to introduce the law started with Arash Derambarsh, a municipal council member who gathered 200,000 signatures and gained support from celebrities. The move followed reports that supermarkets were locking away food waste or using bleach to contaminate scraps to block scavengers.

Derambarsh plans to take the campaign to other European countries, to the United Nations meeting in September on Millennium development goals, to the G20 summit in Turkey and other conferences later this year.

The French government estimates that the average citizen throws away more than 60 pounds of edible food each year, nearly a quarter of which is still in its packaging, for an overall cost of up to $22.5 billion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 40 percent of food bought in stores is thrown away.

Read More:

  • France Food Waste Law Comes With Fines and Prison Time (Politico)
  • France's Bold Attack On Food Waste: Law Will Prohibit Supermarkets From Trashing Unsold Food (Salon)
  • Man Who Forced French Supermarkets To Donate Food Wants To Take Law Global (The Guardian)

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