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Italy wants to reduce the country’s food waste problem and has introduced a raft of new laws and schemes to make it happen.
A new bill passed in the country, which was backed by 181 Senators, has been created to reduce waste by at least one million tonnes a year. The bill is multifaceted and encourages people across the food chain to help in reducing the amount of food that ends up in the trash - it’s expected that around five million tonnes of food is wasted every year in Italy.
One of the biggest hurdles in getting large supermarkets to donate food destined for the trash has been their concern that food close to sell-by-date could make someone sick and in turn see the supermarket sued. The new bill addresses this concern by ensuring there will be no sanctions in place for giving away food close to sell-by-date.
Businesses will also be encouraged through tax breaks - the more food they give away every year, the less tax they will pay. The bureaucracy involved with waste food will also be simplified - with business required to fill in just one monthly form to record their donations.
Alongside the new bill, which was only contested by two Senators, the Italian government is funding a number of new schemes. One will research ways in which waste with food in transit can be reduced and another will be used to encourage what the government are calling ‘family bags’ - doggy bags to the rest of the world.
Though it’s very popular to take the leftovers home from a restaurant in many parts of the world, in Italy this is still uncommon. The government will launch a new scheme to promote the use of ‘family bags’ and in turn reduce the food waste in the restaurant industry.