Believe it or not, in effort to keep dumpster divers from attaining edible, discarded goods from supermarket shelves, some stores actually douse trashed items with bleach to discourage foragers. But the days of destroying in-tact and unsold food items are limited for stores in France, as the country has just passed new legislation which aims to prevent food waste.
On Thursday, France’s National Assembly unanimously passed a measure requiring all supermarkets 400 square feet or larger to donate unsold food to charity, for animal feed, or for farming compost.
As reported by The Guardian, all grocery stores are banned from purposefully ruining food.
“It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods,” said Guillaume Garot, the Socialist deputy who sponsored the bill.
Those market managers who don’t abide by the new regulations as of July of 2016 will be facing fines of up to $75,000 or two years in jail.
It seems France is in a no-nonsense mode of implementing progressive, sustainable change which will better the environment and ensure a healthier future for its citizens. France even just passed a decree mandating that all new roofs in the country either install solar panels or be covered with oxygen-producing plants.
This latest measure is part of a larger bill on energy and the environment that aims to cut France’s food waste in half by 2025. It’s not completely set in stone, however. The lower house of Parliament will vote on the bill next week before it heads to the Senate.
Food waste is a concern that affects every citizen, as 1/3 of the food produced worldwide ends up in the trash every year. The United States is the worst, with about 60 metric tons of food discarded each year.
Not only is food waste a travesty for the hungry, homeless, and low-income families, but it also poses environmental concerns. Large amounts of water, fertilizers, and fuel and energy used for transport and storage are wasted in the production of food items which unfortunately end up in landfills. And rotting, decomposing food emits methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Why are we – as a collective – wasting so much food with 805 million people worldwide still unsure of where their next meal will come from? It’s a question we all need to ask, because global change is carried out through individual incentive.
But France’s new legislation banning grocery stores from wasting food will hopefully help to reduce the amount of food being wasted, and in effect inspire other countries to follow suit.
This story was originally published on True Activist.