When you and your family go out for dinner, have you noticed how many dishes you usually order and how much food is left? In the future, you could be fined for leaving food behind.
A draft law on preventing food waste to ensure food security was submitted for its first reading to the session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), held from Dec 22 to 26.
The draft law says that restaurants should remind customers not to order too much. The size of each dish should be explained clearly and a smaller portion should be available. If customers leave too much food, restaurants are allowed to charge for food waste.
Besides, catering service providers may face a fine if they encourage or mislead consumers into ordering too much food which causes waste.
Food waste has been a problem across the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about one-third of the world’s food – 1.3 billion tons – is wasted every year. In China alone, 35 million tons of food ends up in landfills every year, with about 12 percent of the nation’s harvests going to waste along the entire production chain, CCTV News reported.
The draft law is a crucial move toward fostering a frugal attitude toward food. It is expected to provide a long-term legal system of better rules on daily catering and food consumption, according to China Daily.
In fact, many measures have been taken against food waste already. For example, the “Clear Your Plate” campaign has been launched online and offline. Many users share photos or videos of empty plates after finishing their meals on social media platforms such as Sina Weibo.
In the canteen at Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, free fruit is given to students who finish their meals. Sun Zhenyao, 15, from Hefei No 1 High School, Anhui province, received cash incentives from one local restaurant. “We can get 5 yuan for each empty plate. It’s fun and useful,” he said.