France became first country in the world to ban supermarket food waste

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Who: France
What: Banned supermarket food waste
When: 3 February 2016

The French Senate on 3 February 2016 unanimously passed a law to ban large food stores from throwing away food that is approaching its expiration date. The National Assembly, France’s other legislative chamber, had unanimously voted on the same measures in December 2015.

With this, France has become the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food, forcing them instead to donate it to charities and food banks.

The law came into being after a petition was launched by anti-poverty campaigners led by Councillor Arash Derambarsh.

Key highlights of the new law

With the new law, supermarkets are bound to make donations to charities and food banks, failing which they face a fine of 75000 euros and a jail term of 2 years.

Stores of 400 square metres and above will have to sign contracts promising that they will give unsold food due to be thrown away before its best before date to charities and food banks.

The law also prohibits stores from pouring bleach over food items.