Italy is ready to pass a law that will require supermarkets to donate their “waste” food to the needy. Gotta love common sense!
It is set to become the second country in Europe to pass laws combatting food waste – an issue costing €12 billion each year. The bill has received widespread support and is planned to pass the lower house of the parliament on Monday, before heading for final approval in the Senate.
Unlike France which fines supermarkets found wasting food, Italy wants to give businesses incentives to donate food and help eliminate the country’s €12 billion food waste problem.
“Punishing wasters is not so helpful: this is all about encouraging donations,” said Democratic Party MP, Maria Chiara Gadda, who presented the bill, in an interview with La Repubblica.
Right now, any Italian bar, restaurant or supermarket looking to donate food must declare donations in advance, making it a hassle every time. The new laws will mean that companies need to only fill out one monthly declaration, which will streamline the process and help stop edible food from rotting on the shelf and being dumped.
To further encourage businesses to donate their excess food, they will get reductions in their taxes relative to how much they give away, The Local reports.
Proportion of food wasted at each stage of the supply chain in Europe and Russia, 2010.
In addition, The bill contains 17 articles looking to amend food safety regulations allowing businesses to donate food after its ‘best before’ date is expired.
Italy’s Agriculture Minister, Maurizio Martina, told La Repubblica: “We are making it more convenient for companies to donate than to waste… We currently recover 550 million tonnes of excess food each year but we want to arrive at one billion in 2016.”
French politician and anti-waste campaigner Arash Derambarsh, who is trying to pass EU-wide legislation that will force supermarkets to donate waste food, alongside other volunteers donating unsold food to the homeless.
This wonderful movement has been gaining momentum across Europe.
As the French politician Arash Derambarsh previously told The Independant, “The problem is simple – we have food going to waste and poor people who are going hungry”.
Well done Italy!