Italy is the first country in the world to adopt a law that provides a strategic approach to the issue of food waste and represents a perfect example of the subsidiarity principle. In fact, the drafting of this law has engaged all the stakeholders who are involved inof the donation, recovery and redistribution of surplus food, enhancing the experience and practice that already exists in our country.


On the other hand, France passed a law based on the principle of obligation. The responsibility of food waste will move from the food supply chain to non-profit organizations, which are now considered as a garbage can. In order to recover unsold food products, non-profit organizations shall face the logistics difficulties and the need for major investments for the purchase of refrigerators and vehicles.


The details about the French law:


  • On Wednesday 3 February 2016 the French Senate unanimously passed the Loi relative à la lutte contre le gaspillage alimentaire (law concerning the fight against food waste). Bruno Le Roux with other 300 members of the Parliament signed and presented this law. It should finally enter into force by summer 2016. 
    The law consists of 4 articles and provides a hierarchy of actions to be put in place in order to avoid food waste: prevention, recovery of unsold food products for human consumption, animal feeding, and energy use. It is also forbids supermarkets from throwing away or spoiling unsold food. It proposes educational activities for raising awareness about food waste at school. Finally, the law will apply to any supermarket with a footprint of 400 square metres or larger. They will be obliged to sign a donation deal with charities in order to donate them unsold food. However, this law does not take into account that food banks and other charitable organizations will be obliged to invest resources for adequate facilities in compliance with hygiene and food safety rules. Moreover it does not provide any funding for supporting the future efforts that will be required to non-profit organizations.


  • Finally, media and politicians have often referred to mandatory doggy bag in the French restaurants. It should be highlighted that the French law against food waste does not provide this provision.
    In fact, from January 1, 2016, the Plan against food waste and the law on bio-waste oblige restaurants serving around 180 meals a day to make the collection of their waste and enhance their food waste. Otherwise, they will be heavily fined. It is the entry into force of the Plan against the power of the government wasting signed in mid-June 2013 by all players in the sector, and Law 2010-788 of 12 July 2010, called Grenelle 2.
    Contrary to many news published on international newspapers, restaurants are not obliged to provide a doggy bag to their customers. The doggy bag is presented only as one of the possible solutions in the fight against food waste.

- Updated 3 August 2016