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France cracks down on food waste by supermarkets

Large chains must donate goods to charities or farms

French supermarkets will be forbidden from destroying unsold food and encouraged to donate to charities or farms instead as part of a national campaign against food waste.

The senate approved the bill this week, following a lower house vote last year.

Big supermarket chains must donate goods no longer fit for sale to charities or farms for use as animal feed or compost. That includes goods packaged incorrectly or damaged, but remain edible, or that are past a recommended use-by date but are safe to eat. Foods that are past a firm expiration date would go to farms.

Environmental groups have welcomed the vote, in a country where it is estimated that 20 to 30 kilograms (44 to 66 pounds) of food are wasted per person each year.

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