Hebei introduces China’s first local law against food waste
Published: Sep 24, 2020 11:00 PM

Photo: Xinhua

North China’s Hebei Province has reviewed and approved a local law against food waste, which will take effect on November 1. This is the first provincial-level local regulation focusing on the governance of food waste in China, which provides legal solutions for the difficult issue of food waste, People’s Daily reported on Thursday.

“As the first local law against food waste, it underscores China's determination to reduce food waste. Compared with industry requirements and local rules, legislation can be more stringent to require everyone to save food,” Zheng Fengtian, a professor at Renmin University of China's School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, told the Global Times on Thursday.

According to the law, restaurants that fail to establish a reminder system and induce consumers to order food in excess or set a minimum consumption level will be punished. Restaurants are encouraged to praise consumers who save on meals by rewarding customers with points, discounts and parking offers.

Catering for wedding and funeral ceremonies will be encouraged to eliminate food waste through formulating village rules and resident conventions.

Responsible staff will be investigated to see if the canteens of institutions such as schools and hospitals violate the regulations and waste food. 

Radio, TV and online video service providers are prohibited from making, transmitting or spreading extravagant behavior such as fake eating, vomiting and excessive eating, according to the law. 

Violators shall be warned and ordered to make corrections by the relevant departments of radio and television, culture, tourism, the internet and information. If the circumstances are serious, a fine shall be imposed according to the law and the relevant business may be suspended.

The action of Hebei is very fast, Zheng said. He believes that other provinces are also studying legislation work according to local circumstances. 

The legislation work is based on comprehensive industry requirements and local regulations. China has advocated saving food for many years and related rules and regulations have been established. The law will promote the implementation work more effectively, he said.

The law has a total of 37 articles, focusing on the legislative purposes and principles, the responsibilities of the government, various departments, restaurants and customers.

China decided to tackle food waste in August, when a “Clean Your Plate” campaign against food waste was launched. Zheng believes that the nation will introduce a national law after proper research to help in the battle against food waste.