• Italy's news in English
Italy to pass new laws to fight €12 billion food waste
Italy is set to pass new legislation to combat food waste.Photo: allispossible

Italy to pass new laws to fight €12 billion food waste

The Local · 14 Mar 2016, 11:56

Published: 14 Mar 2016 11:56 GMT+01:00

The bill on food waste has been met with bipartisan support and is set to pass in Italy's lower house on Monday, before heading for final approval in the Senate.

Unlike the French, who introduced fines of up to €75,000 for supermarkets that waste food in February, Italian laws are seeking to use the carrot and not the stick.

 “Punishing wasters is not so helpful: this is all about encouraging donations,” Democratic Party MP, Maria Chiara Gadda, who presented the bill, told La Repubblica.

Currently, all Italian shops, bars, restaurants and food companies looking to give their excess food to charity must declare their donations in advance, making it a bureaucratic nightmare.

The new laws will mean companies need only fill out one monthly declaration noting all donations made, streamlining the process in a bid to stop edible food from rotting on the shelf and being thrown away.

To further encourage businesses to give away their excess, donors will get generous reductions in their rubbish taxes in line with how much they give away.

The bill contains 17 articles which also propose changes to food safety regulations, meaning products that have passed their 'best before' date can still be given away.

“We are making it more convenient for companies to donate than to waste,” said Italy's Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina.

MPs hope the laws will almost double the amount of food saved.

“We currently recover 550 million tonnes of excess food each year but we want to arrive at one billion in 2016,” Martina added.

Beyond encouraging charity, the government is also researching ways in which food can be better packaged, while trying to convince Italian diners to change their wasteful habits.

Story continues below…

Some €1 million a year will be allocated to the development of food packaging over the next three years.

The cultural battle to combat food waste will be waged alongside another €1 million campaign to promote the use of doggy bags in restaurants - a scheme which was trialled in the Veneto region last year.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italian spouses 'faked break-up to cash in on benefits'
File photo: foooomio/Flickr

Italy's finance police tracked the couple using hidden cameras.

Italy to remove corpses from salvaged migrant boat
Activists pray for those who died in the 2015 tragedy. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The sinking left around 800 dead - but they will now get proper burials.

Lidl and Bertolli fined €550k for fake 'extra virgin' olive oil
Photo: Dave Fayram/Flickr

The fines for misleading branding were recently hiked in Italy's ongoing battle to protect its oils.

Two-year-old hospitalized after being raised vegan
File photo: Joe Radele/AFP/Getty Images

The toddler spent several days in intensive care where she was treated for health complications thought to be caused by her parents' vegan diet.

Italy and the Netherlands offer to share UN council seat
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the Security Council. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP

Italy's Foreign Minister said the shared term would show "unity" from two European countries.

Conte theatrics a boon for Italy, and Chelsea fans
Antonio Conte during the Italy-Spain game on Monday. Photo: Philppe Lopez/AFP

A "great" Italian feat toppled Spain at Euro 2016, but Antonio Conte's touchline theatrics were just as dramatic for Italy and Chelsea fans during an emphatic 2-0 win over the defending champions.

Five essential Bud Spencer films to watch this weekend
Italian actor, Bud Spencer, passed away on Monday. Photo: Screenshot/YouTube

If you're looking to remember - or even discover - the delights of the late Bud Spencer's work, here are five films you should definitely watch.

Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
Gubbio (L) and Norcia (R). Photos: Angus Kirk/EricHuybrechts

Rome has a lot to offer, but if you're looking for variety or simply want a break away from the city, there's a treasure trove of towns within easy reach.

Euro 2016
Germany boss to banish Italy 'curse' in quarter-final clash
Germany coach Joachim Loew says Germany do not have an Italian 'curse'. Photo: Patrik Stollarz/AFP

Germany have lost their last eight matches to Italy at the knockout stages of major tournaments.

Bangladesh official charged over Italian's murder
Tavella's body leaves Bangladesh. Photo: Munir Az Zaman/AFP

The Italian aid worker was shot last September.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
jobs available