French supermarkets banned from throwing away and spoiling unsold food

'Supermarkets will be obliged to sign a donation deal with charities'

Supermarkets in France have been banned from throwing away or spoiling unsold food by law.

The stores are now required to donate unwanted food to charities and food banks.

To stop foragers, some supermarkets have poured bleach over the discarded food or storing binned food in locked warehouses.

This law was voted unanimously by the French senate on Wednesday after a petition was launched by Courbevoie councillor Arash Derambarsh.

It will apply to any supermarket with a footprint of 400 square metres or larger.

If companies flout the law they coud incur fines up to 3750 Euros.

Jacques Bailet from Banques Alimentaires, a network of Food banks, told the Guardian: "Most importantly, because supermarkets will be obliged to sign a donation deal with charities, we’ll be able to increase the quality and diversity of food we get and distribute

Food waste during Christmas

"In terms of nutritional balance, we currently have a deficit of meat and a lack of fruit and vegetables. This will hopefully allow us to push for those products.

"That is very important for food banks because this is a real source of quality products, coming straight from the factory."

Mr Derambarsh is now looking to get an EU-wide law banning supermarket food waste.

He said: "The next step is to ask the president, François Hollande, to put pressure on Jean-Claude Juncker and to extend this law to the whole of the EU. 

"This battle is only just beginning. We now have to fight food waste in restaurants, bakeries, school canteens and company canteens."

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