China has drafted a new anti-food-waste law to allow restaurants to fine diners who can’t finish their meals.
Stores would be able to demand extra payment from customers who ‘generate obvious waste’, according to Chinese state media.
The proposed legislation is part of the ‘operation empty plate’, a campaign promoted by President Xi to curb food waste and help citizens form the habit of living thriftily.
China has waged a war on food waste with a drafted law to ban it. Pictured, a sign encouraging people not to waste food is seen at a restaurant in Handan, northern China’s Hebei province
Chinese restaurant-goers wasted an estimated 17 to 18million tonnes of food in 2015 – enough to feed 30 to 50million people for an entire year, as a 2018 study showed.
Since the nationwide anti-waste movement started this summer, the country’s 1.4billion citizens have been urged to order fewer dishes and smaller portions while eating out or ordering takeaways.
The draft gives restaurants the right to claim ‘leftover cleaning fees’ from diners who leave food on their table. But it remains unclear how much the fine would be.
It also bans waiters from ‘luring’ and ‘misleading’ diners into ordering too much food. Offending restaurants could be issued a penalty ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 yuan (£114-1,140).
Anti-food-waste slogans must be shown in ‘eye-catching’ places in restaurants and relayed by waiters to their customers orally, the bill stipulates.
Apart from restaurants, video bloggers and producers would face financial penalties for making and streaming clips that promote overeating.
Chinese restaurant-goers wasted an estimated 17 to 18million tonnes of food in 2015 – enough to feed 30 to 50million people for an entire year. Now the country wants to stop the trend
Chinese lawmakers began deliberating the proposed law on Tuesday at the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress which will finish on Saturday, reported Xinhua News Agency.
‘[The draft is] to restrict business dining and regulate the business conduct of dining service providers and takeaway platforms,’ announced Xu Anbiao, deputy director of the Legal Work Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
It also aims to promote a ‘scientific’ and ‘healthy’ way of living for individuals and families and guide them to make the best possible use of everything, Mr Xu added.
China’s state news agency has called the proposal ‘a good law’ that can lead ‘a new dining trend’. Pictured, diners are seen enjoying Malatang, food cooked in a spicy broth, in Beijing
A Xinhua column has called the proposal ‘a good law’ that can lead ‘a new dining trend’.
‘We must fully exercise the regulation and warning functions of laws to crack down on the trend of wasting food and guide people to establish the correct food-consumption concept,’ said the commentary published on Wednesday.
‘[We must] form a beneficial atmosphere of “feeling shameful of waste and proud of saving”, let the habit of being thrifty blend into everyone’s life and let the traditional virtues be passed from generation to generation,’ the article hailed.