French Produce Section CC francois schnell

The French parliament has voted unanimously to require supermarkets to give away — rather than throw away — the food that reaches its “sell-by” date.

France throws away 7.8 million tons of food every year — more than a quarter of that is by restaurants and shops, which could result in as many as 858,000 tons redistributed to the nation’s hungry.

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The law will take effect when it is expected to be passed by parliament’s upper house — the Senate — on January 13.

It allows citizens to seek approval from the agriculture ministry for creating groups to collect and distribute the saved food.

At least 100 Paris restaurants already take part in a program to redistribute unused food to the city’s poor and hungry.

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Activists who backed the law are now turning their attention to the rest of the European Union and passing similar laws in each of its member nations.

The plan had already been adopted in May by France’s National Assembly as part of another law, but courts annulled it on a series of technicalities. This time, it passed quickly on its own, after lawmakers fixed the issues raised by the courts.

(READ more in The Guardian) — Photo: francois schnell, CC

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