Updated May 27, 2015

France ban destruction of edible food in supermarkets

France's National Assembly has voted unanimously to make destruction of edible food in supermarkets illegal.

Instead of disposing of edible food that has not sold in-store, supermarkets will be required to donate discarded food to charities or allow it to be used as animal feed, compost or energy.

A store must be 400 square metres or larger to fall under the new rules, and are required to sign a contract with a charity to donate the usable products.

It is a practice in supermarkets to dispose of "out-of-date" food in bins with chemicals such as strong bleach.

The scheme is part of France's goal to halve food waste by 2025.

Cedrec's take

This is a very innovative initiative, proposed by French Socialist, Guillaume Garot.

The food is "out-of-date" by supermarket standards, but still edible and usable, therefore it is a huge waste to dispose of it in such a way that has absolutely no benefits.

This kind of scheme would be wonderful in our own country.

The use of foodbanks in the UK is highly publicised to be increasing, and charities are reporting increased strain to provide for so many in need. The organisation, Food Aware, estimates around 18 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill every year. Two thirds of this waste comes from the producer and the retailer, with the final third coming from households.

Any scheme that can cut down on waste for a cleaner environment, benefit charities or produce green energy is a scheme that should be considered.