France became the first country in the world to pass a law that prohibits food waste by supermarkets and mandates them to donate surplus stock to food banks and charities. The bill was passed on Wednesday 3rd February, 2016. At the moment, French supermarkets and supermarkets elsewhere throw away unsold food items nearing expiration. In order to keep homeless people away from rummaging through garbage for food, supermarkets often destroy the food as well. All of this is going to stop in France under this law.
The law came into being thanks to the efforts of councilor Arash Derambarsh who filed a petition. If found guilty under the new law, supermarket owners may face 2 years in jail or a 75,000 USD penalty. For people who are fighting food wastage, the war is far from over. According to Jacques Bailet, who heads a network of charitable food banks, “This battle is only just beginning. We now have to fight food waste in restaurants, bakeries, school canteens and company canteens.”