Italy’s unsold food law is set to pass and will require supermarkets to give items to charities before they hit the dumpster. The country will become the second European country after France to pass this law that bans supermarket to throw away unsold food, according to Independent.
The unsold food law is expected to be passed at the parliament, where it also receives bipartisan support. Italy wishes to offer businesses incentives by donating food and help the country’s $12 billion waste problem.
As of this moment, restaurants or supermarkets must declare their donations progress under Italy’s unsold food law. The food safety regulation has 17 articles in the bill allowing businesses to offer food after its “best before” date.
Maurizio Martina, Italy’s Agriculture Minister said, “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,” he added.
In other news, a Democratic Party MP named Maria Chiara Gadda who represented the law said, “Punishing wasters is not so helpful: this is all about encouraging donations.” The Italian system is considering all food outlets wishes to give their extra food to charity, they must also declare it beforehand.
Last month, France introduced a law that banned supermarkets from throwing out their unsold — but still edible — food, and now a new Italian bill is looking to do the same, by making it a whole lot easier for stores to donate items past their use-by date to charities.
Unlike the French legislation, which issues up to $83,000 fines for supermarkets that waste food, the Italian model instead rewards companies for donating by reducing their rubbish tax - the more food companies donate, the bigger savings they’ll receive. And with many businesses seeing the bottom line as a great incentive than environmental or humanitarian concerns, that’s a pretty good incentive.
The government will also make donating easier — right now, Italian supermarkets have to declare any food donations to charity in advance, but under the new bill, they’ll only have to fill out a monthly declaration showing how much they donated. The bill is set to pass Italy’s lower house with bipartisan support this week, before heading for final approval in the Senate.
Italy’s unsold food law also changes the rules on numbering of products, making it possible to donate it even if they passed its “best before” dates. Martina also said, “We are making it more convenient for companies to donate than to waste.”
A million dollars a year will be billed to the food packaging for the next three years. Leading supermarkets in UK pledge to downgrade their food and drinks waste. Local authorities and manufacturers are also committed to the contract created by the Waste and Resources Action Program.