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The Anti-Waste Law has been Approved: a Prize not to Waste Food

According to FAO, one third of the food we produce goes to waste or gets lost during the production chain. Only in Italy, everyone of us wastes 76 kilos of food every year. Every year we throw away 1,3 billion tons of food and their disposal costs our environment 170 billion tons of CO2, water waste and soil impoverishment. The cultivation of wasted food occupies 14 billion km2. If it was a country, it would be the third wider one after Russia and Canada.

Luckily, in Italy, the fight against food waste is now a rule of law. After the first approval of the Chamber last March, the ultimate approval from the Senate has finally arrived. “With today’s vote, we maintain a promise. Italy has an organic law to repurpose excess food and donate it to charity”, said the Pd deputy Maria Chiara Gadda, the first one to sign in favor of the law.

The decree, that comes to us just 6 months after the same French one, defines for the first time in the Italian legislation the terms of “overproduction” and “waste” in the food industry, defines in better words the difference between the minimum term of food preservation and the expiration date, and aims to simplify the procedures to donate excess food, always paying special attention to sanitary regulations and product traceability.

The main difference between the french law and the italian one is that the first one is based on penalizations, while the Italian one relies on incentives and bureaucratic simplicity. It allows to gather excess farming products and to give them away completely for free. It explicitly affirms that bread could be donated within 24 hours of its production. Moreover, to reduce food waste in the restaurant industry, it allows to take leftovers home with a “family bag”.

Both non-profit associations and public authorities will be considered “donors”. It will also be possible to donate food and medicines with wrong labels, as long as the error doesn’t affect the expiration date or the information about allergens. The written form for free food donation will not be necessary anymore, and lastly, medicines and other products will be involved in the so-called “from farm to table” production, that will have to be promoted by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy within the project of waste reduction.