SNP MSP Stuart McMillan has today called on the Scottish Government to follow the example of France, who last week passed legislation making it illegal for large supermarkets to throw away or destroy unsold food.
The new French law will force retailers to donate unsold food to charities or use it as animal feed. Those who fail to adhere to these laws will face large fines or even prison sentences.
In a letter to the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food & Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP, Mr McMillan calls on the Scottish Government to seriously consider the idea of considering similar legislation in Scotland.
Mr McMillan adds that “Mass wastage of food which could be donated to food banks to help those in need in local communities is not only morally wrong, it is also damaging to the environment.”
Speaking Mr McMillan said:
“At a time when the number of people relying on food banks is rising, I find it scandalous that supermarkets find it acceptable to throw away perfectly edible food.
“I have watched the legislation recently passed in France with interest, and I believe introducing such a law in Scotland would be a massive step in helping cut down on this wastage, while also helping Scotland become a greener nation.
“It is important to add that not all supermarkets fall into this category, many are very active in donating unused food and should be congratulated for doing so. However, I think the time has come for those who are not to be forced to do so.
“I hope the Scottish Government take this idea forward and give it the serious consideration it deserves.”