France moves to ban food waste in supermarkets

Agence France-Presse
Consumers buy nectarines and cherries at the fruits section in an Auchan supermarket in northern France on June 27, 2014.
PHILIPPE HUGUEN

In a rare show of unity France's parliament voted unanimously Thursday to ban food waste in big supermarkets, notably by outlawing the destruction of unsold food products.

"It's scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods," said Socialist member of parliament Guillaume Garot who sponsored the bill.

Under the new legislation, supermarkets will have to take measures to prevent food waste and will be forced to donate any unsold but still edible food goods to charity or for use as animal feed or farming compost.

All large-sized supermarkets will have to sign contracts with a charity group to facilitate food donations.

French people throw away between 20 to 30 kilos (44 to 66 pounds) of food per person per year costing an estimated 12 to 20 billion euros ($13-22 billion) annually.

The government is hoping to slice food waste in half by 2025.