HUFFINGTON POST
12/10/2015 01:16 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2015

French Assembly Passes Bill Forbidding Vendors To Waste Food

Food producers and distributors would have to compost or donate any unsold food.
The French National Assembly passed a law that would effectively forbid the country's food vendors and producers to waste foo
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
The French National Assembly passed a law that would effectively forbid the country's food vendors and producers to waste food.

The land of baguettes, wine and cheese is ramping up its fight against food waste and climate change.

On Wednesday, the French National Assembly unanimously passed a bill that will effectively forbid food vendors and producers to waste food, Le Monde reported. The bill will be presented to the senate in early 2016.

The legislation includes measures that would have food producers and distributors compost or give to an authorized charity unsold food that has gone beyond its sell-by date. It would let people set up associations to collect and distribute food so that ordinary citizens could also give food to those who need it, per The Guardian. The bill would also require school curricula on food to discuss "the fight against food waste."

The National Assembly previously passed the bill in May, but the country's constitutional court later annulled it because of procedural problems.

In France, a single person throws away 20 to 30 kilograms (44 to 66 pounds) of food, worth 159 euros ($174), every year, the country's Environment and Energy Management Agency noted in October. Supermarkets waste over 44 pounds of food every day, French politician Arash Derambarsh wrote in an online petition against food waste.

The legislation was passed during the tail end of the COP21 climate talks, where international leaders and representativ
Michel Euler/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The legislation was passed during the tail end of the COP21 climate talks, where international leaders and representatives discussed ways to mitigate climate change.

Food production has a high carbon footprint, contributing as much to global emissions as transportation, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in September. Food waste also represents a waste of land, water and energy, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted. Europe emits almost 1,540 pounds of carbon per capita in food waste every year, according to a 2013 FAO report.

After Wednesday's vote, 100 restaurants in Paris launched a campaign called "La box anti-gaspi" ("the anti-waste box"), which calls for diners to bring home unfinished food in a doggie bag.

The legislation passed as international leaders and representatives wrap up the COP21 climate change talks in Le Bourget, near Paris. On Dec. 5, the United Nations released a draft agreement outlining measures that would help mitigate climate change.

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