World A law prohibits over-ordering in restaurants to limit food...

A law prohibits over-ordering in restaurants to limit food waste

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Illustration of a meal. – PESCALI / SINTESI / SIPA

In China, a new law that came into force on April 29 aims to limit food waste in the country. The text prohibits restaurant patrons from ordering more food than necessary.

The restaurants guilty of having pushed their customers to order too many dishes are exposed to a fine of 1,550 dollars maximum (a little less than 1,300 euros). The law also makes “mukbang,” videos showing the consumption of large amounts of food illegal, reports Vice. The media which broadcast them risk a fine of $ 16,000 (approximately 13,000 euros).

Waste, an “alarming” situation in China

The law does not specify the volume of “suitable” food. One establishment has even installed a scale at its entrance to indicate to each customer the ideal quantity of food according to their weight. Restaurants already offer formulas with smaller portions. Company canteens and professional group meals had to be organized to reduce waste.

In 2020, President Xi Jinping called the waste “alarming” for the country and its food security. He believed that the Covid-19 crisis had highlighted the importance for China of having a large stock of food. In August 2020, a food economy program was put in place. 35 million tons of food are thrown away in China every year.

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