Key points of the new Food Waste Law in Spain

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Third Sector Support - Legal
  • Currently, only France and Italy have similar regulation to the EU.
    Currently, only France and Italy have similar regulation to the EU. . Source: Pexels.

The Food Loss and Waste Prevention law is a pioneer in Spain.

The Food Loss and Waste Prevention Law project , approved last June, is a pioneering law against food waste in Spain.

The law contains eighteen articles , structured in six chapters : general provisions, obligations of agents in the food chain, good practice measures, rationalization of best-before dates, instruments for promotion and control and sanctioning regime.

With the approval of this law, Spain takes another step towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

key points

  • Obligation of the hospitality industry to offer its customers leftover food at no additional cost and in recyclable containers.
  • Companies will have to stipulate the destination of food to avoid its waste under the premise that the highest priority will always be human consumption through the donation or redistribution of food.
  • The donation of surpluses will be regulated by collaboration agreements with companies, social initiative entities and other non-profit organizations or food banks.
  • The social entities that receive donations must create a system for registering the entry and exit of the food received and delivered.
  • If the food is no longer fit for human consumption, the preference will be, in this order: animal feed and feed manufacturing, use as by-products in another industry or as waste and obtaining compost or biofuels
  • Commercial establishments will have sales lines for "ugly, imperfect or unsightly" products.

Fines and penalties for non-compliance

  • A minor infraction, which will be sanctioned with fines of up to 2,000 euros, will be not applying the hierarchy of priorities.
  • A minor infraction will be that the retail distribution and hospitality and catering companies do not give the unsold products that are suitable for human consumption through a pact or agreement.
  • A minor infraction will be the refusal to collaborate with the administrations to quantify food waste.
  • A serious offense will be considered not to have a prevention plan and will be fined between 2,001 and 60,000 euros.
  • Very serious infringements will be considered to accumulate serious offenses within two years, and may be sanctioned with a fine of between 60,001 and 500,000 euros.

Effective January 1, 2023

Minister Lluís Planas has acknowledged that the government's intention is for the law to enter into force on January 1, 2023 , if the procedures and deadlines in Congress and the Senate allow it.

Currently, only France and Italy have similar regulation to the EU. This rule aims not only to legislate and sanction, but one of the main objectives is to raise public awareness , since 40% of food waste occurs in shops and homes and another 20% within the food chain.

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