Earth & Conservation

Supermarkets in Italy Will Be Required to Give Unsold Food to Charity

A new proposed law is trying to reduce the country's astronomical food waste problem.

<p>Photo: Sven Scheuermeier // Unsplash</p>

No longer will that hardly blemished apple and just slightly odd looking carrot be tossed in the waste bin at supermarkets in Italy. A new proposed law would require that all supermarkets in the country donate their unsold food to charity, rather than tossing it away, reports the Independent.

Italy is following on the heels of France, where they banned throwing away unsold food in February. However, France's method is to fine markets that are not complying with the new law, whereas Italy wants to give them an incentive. Stores that donate food to charity would be given a reduction in garbage taxes, depending on the amount they give.

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There are 17 articles in the bill that would change food safety regulations as well, and would allow stores to donate food that is already passed its 'best before' date. The goal is to make donating food easier than throwing it away. Italy currently has a €12 billion (approx. $13.6 billion) food waste problem. The Agriculture Minister of Italy, Maurizio Martina, told La Repubblica: "We currently recover 550 million tonnes of excess food each year but we want to arrive at one billion in 2016."

There are also efforts being made to get legislation across the entire European Union that would require all supermarkets to give away leftover food. Arash Derambarsh, the politician in France who is spearheading the legislation, told the Independent "The problem is simple – we have food going to waste and poor people who are going hungry."

To learn more about world hunger, check out: The Impact of El Niño on World Hunger