Italy is set to become the second European country to press supermarkets and other businesses to donate wasted food to groups that feed the hungry.
The country already recovers more than 600 million tons of unused food every year, but Italians still throw away $13 billion worth of food annually — largely produce that has begun to age, but is still edible.
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The new laws won’t punish businesses for tossing out waste food, but instead offer incentives for donating. Grocery stores, bars, and restaurants that sign up would be given lower garbage collection fees in exchange for contributing to food pantries.
France passed a law last year fining supermarkets for throwing away leftover food. The French activists who pushed for that law want a similar one for all nations in the European Union.
In the meantime, private efforts are stepping up with UK supermarket chain Tesco announcing just last week it will donate unused food from it’s 800 stores to any charity who wants it.
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