After France, Italy is the second European country to pass a law encouraging supermarkets to give unsold food to people in need. The bill—backed by 181 senators, only two opposed and one abstained—aims to cut the five million tonnes of food wasted every year by 20 percent.
However, unlike a similar law recently approved in France, where supermarket owners face fines of up to €75,000 ($115,000) if they don’t sign contracts with food donation charities, the Italian measure seems to be significantly weaker. Supermarkets are merely encouraged through financial and fiscal incentives, but donations are not mandatory, nor there is any provision for sanctions against those who continue to dump edible food items.
As part of a wider anti-waste initiative, the Italian government has also launched a €1 million fund to support its new ‘doggy bag’ campaign, inviting people to take unfinished food home.