PARIS, May 22 (UPI) -- The French Parliament passed a law requiring supermarkets to give unsold food to charities instead of destroying it.
The National Assembly unanimously approved the measure Thursday. It outlaws deliberate spoiling unsold food, and large supermarkets will be required to establish contracts with local organizations to distribute it or to use it as animal feed. The law comes after reports that supermarkets routinely pour bleach on thrown-away unsold food, and is part of a wider effort in France to reduce food waste, estimated by the government as 20 to 30 kilograms (44 to 66 pounds) per person annually. The wasted food is valued at up to 20 billion Euros ($22 billion) per year.
Critics of the law contend too much of the burden will fall on retailers, who will be compelled to implement costly new procedures to store and deliver the unsold food. Some charities also have doubts about their roles in sorting and distributing the food.