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.
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.
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.