To reduce food waste, whilst simultaneously helping the needy population, the Italian government has established a new law which requires Italian supermarkets to donate unsold food to the needy. This is a great way to help reduce costs as food waste costs and save up to 1 million tonnes of food waste and $13 billion a year, which could amount to up to 1% GDP. With 5.1 million tonnes of food gone to waste a year, it is no surprise that this is an apparent issue that needs to be addressed.
The new law incentivises businesses by reducing waste tax for the amount of food they give away and removed sanctions for donating expired food. Not only this, but farmers will also be able to give away unsold produce to charities without incurring costs. As well as that, the Italian government wants to raise the awareness and use of takeaway bags in restaurants to reduce food waste as far as possible. As of now, very few restaurants seem to offer this option, so it has a great potential to make an impact.
Many countries, especially within the European Union, have already adopted similar laws and regulations. France, for example, has much tighter regulations regarding the matter.
It is great to see the trend in reducing food waste across the world. Taking up this method to reduce food waste would be a possible method for Hong Kong to increase its sustainability!