Spain will apply the “doggybag” option in bars and restaurants

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MADRID (AP) — Bars and restaurants in Spain will be forced to offer free “doggybags” to customers to take home food they haven’t eaten under a new law aimed at reducing food waste .

Under the new bill passed by the Spanish government on Tuesday, companies in the food chain will have to draw up plans to try to reduce the amount of food wasted, or face possible fines.

Stores and supermarkets will be asked to reduce the price of products as their recommended use-by date approaches and also to enter into agreements with neighborhood organizations and food banks for the donation of such products to help people in need.

Once the expiry date has passed, the law recommends that foodstuffs be directed towards animal feed or the industrial production of fertilizers and biofuels.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Luis Planas said the law was aimed at ‘regulating and raising awareness’, to reduce the 1.3 million kilos (1,400 tonnes) of food wasted in the country every year. He said that was 31 kilograms per person, which equated to a loss of around 250 euros ($265) for each person.

He said only France and Italy in the European Union already had similar legislation. Planas said he hopes the bill will be approved by parliament and in force by January 1, 2023.

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