Czech supermarkets with floor space of 400 metres squared or more, will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or to non-profit organizations, under a law set to crack down on food waste.
The foodstuffs involved do not meet certain standards – having damaged packaging, for instance – but are safe to consume.
In 2017, according to the Czech Federation of Food Banks, 1900 tons of unused food, were collected. Now, the amount of donated food could increase up to five times.
Tesco has been cooperating with food banks since 2013. “We give hundreds of tons of food, usually fruit, vegetables, andpastries,” said Václav Koukolíček, chain’s spokesman, adding that donations from 154 stores are made daily or weekly basis.
On Wednesday, the country’s highest court has thrown out an appeal from a group of 25 members senators. They claimed the legislation was unconstitutional as it represented a form of tax on food and contravened ownership rights and the right to do business.
The average Czech consumes 785 kilograms of food per year. But for every Czech, some 100 to 200 kilograms of food is discarded per year. Only 9 percent of people aged 18 to 24 years old say they never waste food, that figure rises steadily to 33 percent for people aged 56 to 65 years old.
In Europe, a similar practice is already in place in Italy or France. A law passed last year in the Italian Senate helped the country recover 1m tonnes of food a year for the needy, according to the law’s chief sponsor, and came six months after a similar bill was passed in France.