Italy Adopts New Law to Tackle Food Waste

kim kardashian

The Italian government passed a new set of laws last week to reduce the amount of food wasted each year.

According to The Guardian, an estimate of 5.1 million tons of food is thrown away annually. With the new law, the country can recover 1 million tons of food to help the needy every year.

Thus, 181 senators backed a bill encouraging diners to take leftovers home using “doggy bags.” Although doggy bags are common in other parts of the world, they are rare in Italian restaurants, according to BBC.

The environment secretary, Barbara Degani, said “family bag” is the new term for it. She hopes the label upgrade can get rid of the notion that packing up uneaten food is an indecent request.

“This good habit is the result of a cultural shift among those with upper-middle incomes,” the president of a Naples-area association of farmer’s markets, Luigi Caccioppoli said. “They want to conserve food not only out of need, but out of respect. It’s a new lifestyle that appreciates high-quality food.”

In addition, the bill removes hurdles for restaurants, farmers, and retailers wanting to donate food to charity. The law not only accepts expired food donations but also farmers won’t have to pay extra for donating leftover or unsold food to charities.

“It simplifies things for us,” spokesman for the farmer’s association Coldiretti in Campania, Nicola De Ieso, said, according to the Telegraph. “We can be even more efficient.”

It also reported the law earmarks €10 million to fund the initiative. It includes €2 million to feed the poor and €1 million towards researching. The Italian agricultural ministry is coming up with other methods of packaging food to prevent it from spoiling in transit.

Compared to the law passed in France six months ago, Italy’s is based more on incentive. France, the first European country to have passed a law tackling food waste, penalizes supermarkets for not donating their unsold food.

The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates 40 percent of food produced in Europe goes to waste.

“The food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people,” FAO stated.

The country’s unwanted food is costing Italian businesses and households more than $13.3 billion yearly, according to BBC.

About Melody Chan

Melody is an avid fan of traveling. Although she thinks the packing and unpacking process is tedious, she believes the ability to enlighten herself while visiting new places is all worth it. She has already fallen in love with the idea of one day seeing the whole world. She knows that the world's beauty extends further than what a lens can show and is so much more than just words painted on a page. But when she's not traveling, she'll have to settle for her favorite pastime, writing. She is an aspiring screenwriter and journalist.

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