Spain has recently approved a bill that will see supermarkets fined anywhere up to $62,500 for repeat offences in regard to food waste. They hope that the bill will help to tackle the enormous food waste problem in the country, with up to 1.3 billions tons of food waste being produced worldwide each year.
To help curb this, the bill will force restaurants and supermarkets to work with local food banks and organisations in order to lower the amount of food waste that they produce, and will even give out leftover bags of food.
“In the catering sector, in bars and restaurants, all citizens should have the free right to take back any leftovers that have not been consumed and can therefore be consumed at a later date.” said Spain’s Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Minister, Luis Planas.
Businesses will also have to make plans to donate food before it passes its best before, so any excess will not go to waste. Any items that aren’t safe for human consumption will potentially be used as biofuel and animal feed, alongside other industries where the waste may be of use.
However, Spain has also placed emphasis on changes in consumer behaviour to ensure there is less food waste inside households. They hope to do this through educational campaigns.
Spain is looking to have the new law in place as soon as 2023. However, other countries are also looking to tackle food waste and plastic pollution in different ways. India has already banned single-use plastic, and the UK is looking to ban single-use plastic plates and cutlery in 2023. In 2016, France also introduced a law that would see supermarkets forced to donate unsold food products in order to reduce food waste.