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Dublin: 5°C Friday 5 March 2021

It is now illegal in France for supermarkets to throw away food

But they can donate it all to charities, or for animal feed.

food-waste-cut-could-save-194bn Source: Nick Ansell/PA

FRANCE’S PARLIAMENT VOTED unanimously tonight to ban food waste in big supermarkets – outlawing the destruction of unsold food.

Under the new law, supermarkets will have to prevent food waste and will be forced to donate unsold but edible food to charity, or for use as animal feed or compost.

They will also be able to donate products for energy and fuel purposes, France Info radio reports.

Socialist MP Guillaume Garot, who sponsored the bill, said:

It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods.

Under the new law, all large-sized supermarkets will have to sign contracts with a charity group to facilitate food donations.

According to L’Express magazine, children in France will now also be given be lessons on avoiding and preventing food waste, as part of their school curriculum.

French people throw away between 20 to 30 kilos (44 to 66 pounds) of food per person per year, which costs €12-20 billion annually.

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In Ireland, the charity FoodCloud has estimated that at least 1 million tonnes of food are wasted here, every year.

The US state of Massachusetts introduced a similar law in 2014, banning businesses from throwing out food, if they throw out more than a tonne of it every week.

Contains reporting by AFP.

Read: How two students saved enough food for 325,000 meals from the rubbish>

Read: One million tonnes of food is wasted in Ireland every year>

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Dan MacGuill

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