A New Italian Law Incentivizes Supermarkets to Donate Their Waste Food

The United States should look into doing the same.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Hippie Peace

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2012, Americans threw out roughly 35 million tons of food. “That’s almost 20 percent more food than the United States tossed out in 2000, 50 percent more than in 1990, and nearly three times what Americans discarded in 1960,” The Washington Post reported. A USDA study released in 2014 showed that 31 percent of the American food supply available at the retail and consumer levels went uneaten. All of this waste is happening while 48.1 million Americans live in food-insecure households. That’s why a new program in Italy that could pave the way toward improving the problems of both waste and hunger makes so much sense.

Italy is set to pass a law on Monday that will give tax breaks to supermarkets that donate their waste food to charity. Italy will join France as the second European country to pass such a law. The Italian law will give tax credits for trash removal depending on the amount the business donates. Italy’s agriculture minister, Maurizio Martina, told La Repubblica: “We are making it more convenient for companies to donate than to waste. We currently recover 550 million tons of excess food each year, but we want to arrive at 1 billion in 2016.”

If you’re looking to reduce food waste, here’s a video to help you start.

Have food to donate? Here’s a locator to help you find the food bank near you.

(H/T The Independent)


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