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Food Waste Problems In France

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Food waste is a massive and financially pulling issue for the world, costing us around $680 billion a year . In France this problem was very prominent as the country was producing around 88 billion tonnes per year. With information from a new report done by the French Agency for the Environment and Energy (ADEME), every continuous year 10 million tons of food waste is being thrown out from households and businesses, this is costing the French government per year around 16 billion euros.

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The harmful impact done from this food waste on the environment is also very alarming. This amount of food waste emits around 15.6 million tonnes of CO2, this is a concededly concerning amount as it forms around 3% of the country’s total CO2 emissions. In light of this knowledge France last year started taking action to reduce its food waste. The government became very active to create new laws, regulations and campaigns to have both city households and companies to be more aware of the amount of food waste that they produce and to reduce and use their food waste positively and efficiently. One of the new laws was to enforce management of waste.

The French Ministry of Ecology, Energy and Sustainable Development has enforced that companies who produce more than 120 tons to recycle their organic waste, the failure to comply with this new legislation would cost the company fines up to 75,0000 Euro. This law was gradually changed to include not only large supermarkets but any shops that sell and produce in the hospitality and foodservices division. This law has made it mandatory all businesses, that produce at least 10 tonnes of organic waste per year to recycle their food waste.

The other law that was put in place was to ban supermarkets from wasting, throwing or destroying any quality unsold food upcoming its “best-before” date. The law forces the stores to donate excess food to charities and other food banks in the local area. The legislation requires any store greater than 4,305 square feet to sign different donation contracts to food banks or other non-for-profit organizations. If stores fail to do so, it could result in the company being fined of up to €75,000 euros. These laws are also in place to change the consumers behaviours around food waste.

A new act run by local specialists in Paris has launched a new bio-waste initiative which allows each house hole to have waste sorting kits to sort out their own waste. These bins are to encourage and involve households to recycle their own food waste that they produce instead of trashing it. There will be around 3,200 of these waste sorting kits distributed around Paris, each containing a recycling bio-waste sorting tub and an instruction on how to recycle different types of waste. These boxes will then be collected and transformed into fertilisers for local businesses to feed their plants.

The initial goal for this project is for the entire French capital to have each household to dispose of its own waste using these bio-waste tubs by 2020. These movements done by the French government are very important in the future of food waste management. Although it is said that these new regulations have flaws and more organisation needed it is still a question to ask if Australia should adapt these laws into our legal system.

03 December 2019

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