Waste Food, Go to Jail (or Pay $75,000)

Fresh fruit and veg skipped from the bins of Norway

Produce I found in Norwegian bins

The world has just become a slightly better place. Why? Because a new law in France, the “Loi Macron”,  was passed unanimously by the National Assembly last week. It will force all chains to donate their discarded food: either to charity or by allowing it to be turned into animal feed, compost, or energy. Those who break this rule, could now face jail time or a fine of $75,000. [Source, theplaidzebra.]

Previously, discarded food was purposefully made inaccessible, perpetuating waste. While skipping, I personally have been witness to discarded food that has been covered in bleach, had its packaging split open with a knife, or is held in a padlocked container, preventing access. Each time I come across these practices, I feel a little bit of outrage boiling up inside me, and I am not an angry person.

Just to reiterate, yes, you read that right: companies actually spend money employing someone to destroy discarded food either with bleach or a knife. This is capitalism in a very poor form.

Eating from the bins

Communal skipping

Over the past few years, I have skipped in several countries – taken discarded food from the bins of supermarkets – and I do this not only to reduce my expenditure (as I often travel on a budget of only a couple of pounds a day), but also because I think it is terrible that we waste so much food in the world. In fact, I wrote a whole article on why you and I should start eating from bins more often. Please read it before you pass judgement on the issue. While skipping, I have even found beer, cider, vodka, and brandy in the bins, and another good thing that the French have done is to remove sell by dates from non-perishable items such as rice and pasta.

uk bins skipping stash

Contents of single bin, UK

This new law is not going to change the world and solve the food wastage issues. However, it is a small step in the right direction and I cannot express how happy I am to see it passed so convincingly. My only hope is that other countries will soon follow suit.

Vive la France!

Featured image from death and taxes mag.

By | 2015-05-27T01:26:44+00:00 May 27th, 2015|Thoughts and Inspiration|0 Comments

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