Trade Resources Company News Italy Set To Pass Bill To Reduce Food Waste

Italy Set To Pass Bill To Reduce Food Waste

Italy is all set become the second European country after France to pass a law to reduce food waste by encouraging supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities.

Italy Set To Pass Bill To Reduce Food Waste

Food waste which costs the Italian economy €12bn (£9.4bn) every year and the bill has got support from different parties.

The bill is set to be passed in the lower house of the Italian parliament, before it heads for final Senate approval.

The new legislation is expected to double the amount of food saved.

Italy agriculture minister Maurizio Martina said: "We currently recover 550 million tonnes of excess food each year but we want to arrive at one billion in 2016."

Unlike the French bill, which penalizes supermarkets to the tune of €75,000 fine for wasting food, the Italian legislation is seeking to encourage food donations rather than focusing on punishment for wasting food.

In the current Italian system, food outlets seeking to donate excess food to charity need to declare their donations in advance. The new law will reduce red tape to one monthly form that would detail all donations made.

As a bonus for the initiative, donors would get deductions in rubbish taxes in proportion with the amount of food that they donate.

The bill will also facilitate donation of products which have passed the "best before" dates.

The Italian government is also allocating €1m per year for the development of food packaging in the next three years.

A separate €1m campaign will be launched to promote the use of doggy bags at restaurants following trials in Venice last year. The movement has also begun in France.

The move comes as the UK supermarkets have pledged to bring down food waste by a fifth in the next 10 years. Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons are supporting a voluntary agreement which also seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions created by food and drink industry by 20%.

The agreement, signed as part of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), has 24 local authorities and manufacturers as members.

According to Wrap studies, food waste in the UK cost more than £19bn per year, according to Telegraph . Wrap study says around 75% of the waste can be avoided.

Image: Italy close to introducing food waste bill. Photo: Courtesy of xedos4/

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