The year 2022 marked a turning point in the fight against food waste and in other sectors: it ushered in a new era of awareness of its impact on the climate, the environment and society. Freshopp has taken stock of the anti-waste situation in 2022, and takes you on a tour of the good resolutions and French laws that will help limit food and non-food waste in 2023 .
The anti-waste law for a circular economy (AGEC): a review for 2022
New challenges against food waste
The French law is stepping up the fight against food waste by revising its targets upwards. By 2025, food distributors and restaurants will have to reduce food waste by 50% compared to 2015. Sectors that produce or process foodstuffs and those involved in commercial catering will also be affected by this measure, with a deadline of 2030.
This anti-waste law for a circular economy also brings new obligations for wholesalers with sales in excess of 50 million euros. They are now obliged to donate their unsold food products to associations. Penalties have now been stepped up, and if it is found that unsold foodstuffs still fit for consumption have been destroyed, offenders are liable to a fine of up to 0.1% of sales.
💡 The law provides for the creation of a national “anti-food waste” label to promote initiatives.
Changes to minimum durability dates (MDD)
In 2022, new legislation came into force concerning the marking of best-before dates on foodstuffs. The aim is to avoid misleading consumers. This new decree enables operators to provide customers with more precise information, warning them that products not marked with a use-by date (DLC) are still edible beyond the indicated date, without risk to health.
New wording may appear on packaging, such as: “This product may be consumed after this date”, indicated after the DDM. Similarly, the words “For optimal tasting” followed by the optimal date will be visible on certain packaging. This applies only to products manufactured and sold in France.
The end of unsold non-food items: an unprecedented measure
The law also tackles non-food products, a world first. Coming into force on January 1, 2022, it prohibits stores from disposing of unsold goods. They will be able to donate them to associations or, failing that, recycle them. To avoid overproduction, manufacturers will need to better manage their inventories. This measure currently only concerns products covered by an EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) scheme, and includes electronic and electrical equipment, toys, DIY and gardening items, and sports and leisure goods. The measure will be extended to other products by December 31, 2023 at the latest, with textiles and furnishings to follow in January.
2023 good resolutions: the fight goes on
Disposable tableware in fast-food restaurants
From January1, 2023, fast-food outlets will be obliged to use reusable tableware to serve their meals and drinks. This measure only applies to on-site consumption. This will prevent tens of thousands of tonnes of packaging waste being thrown away every year.
The end of the sales slip
From April 2023, automatic receipt printing will become optional. Some stores already offer consumers this choice by asking them the question with every purchase. In return, a dematerialized alternative must be offered. This also includes credit card tickets and those printed at ATMs. On the one hand, this will limit paper consumption, which averages 10,000 rolls per year per hypermarket, but it will also reduce the use of bisphenol F or S, which is an endocrine disruptor.
Responsible each year for the emission of several billion tons of CO2 and the waste of several thousand tons of clothing, the anti-waste law includes new measures for the textile industry. Under the “polluter pays” principle, the project will be financed by the amount of eco-contributions it is required to pay, and a bonus/malus system will be introduced. For example, distributors of clothing and accessories made from recyclable and/or recycled materials will see their eco-contribution reduced. Labels will also have to include an eco-score.
France is more committed than ever to combating waste through the AGEC law. The year 2022 marked the implementation of various measures to combat food waste in particular, and enabled new actions to be put in place, effective from January1, 2023. All activities are affected by food and non-food waste. There’s a lot at stake when it comes to reducing waste and losses, as such reductions enable us to make financial savings at every level, and above all to preserve the environment. Whether you’re a consumer or a player in the world of food, crafts, industry or even IT, don’t forget: it’s possible to live without waste!
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