Tue. May 30th, 2023

In Germany, scavenging for food is a crime under current law, but various amendments are being considered regarding the legality of this crime.

Allowing food items to be taken out of garbage, will there be any reduction in food waste?
Allowing food items to be taken out of garbage, will there be any reduction in food waste?


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In Germany, ‘dumpster diving’ is a crime under current law. However, regarding the legal status of this crime, various amendment aspects are being considered. There is a possibility of lifting the ban on using food items from garbage.

In this regard, Minister of Justice Marko Buschmann from the Free Liberal Democratic Party and Green Party Minister of Agriculture Chaim Azdemir have made some proposals regarding the removal of restrictions on dumpster diving. Under these proposals, there will be no fines for finding and using food from supermarket waste.

Regarding this, Azdemir says, “There should be no further legal action against those who collect food from garbage.” Earlier, the German city state of Hamburg also imposed administrative fines in the context of relaxation of existing regulations. An amendment bill was introduced.

These legal amendments about junk food seem to be especially excited and happy for the students who sometimes fill their empty fridges with canned food from the trash.

Food traders are unhappy with the proposal

However, the spokesperson of the German Food Trade Federation, Christian Boucher, has criticized the government’s plan. Speaking to DW, he said, “There is no legal logic to any action in this case, because people generally They take food from the garbage bins, which are already available to the general public. That is, they are not locked or are not in a barren place, in which case the ministerial steps to remove the restriction are unnecessary.

Eleven million tons of food is wasted in Germany annually, which is a huge amount in terms of food waste. Boucher believes that the main objective of government initiatives should be to avoid food waste, while the measures proposed by ministers will not reduce food waste. In this regard, he further said that “Out of the 11 million tonnes of food waste annually, the food industry is responsible for only seven percent of the loss, while there are possibilities of unfairly targeting it through these amendments.”

For example, many retailers throw their products in the trash after their expiration date, and if dumpster diving becomes legal, these companies could potentially be held liable for health hazards caused by these products. can be accommodated.

According to Ralph Sommer, WWF’s head of agriculture and land use, the solution is that “if someone can’t provide a receipt for food, they can potentially harm the company that produces the food.” cannot be held responsible for. Anyone who consumes waste food is responsible for their own actions.”

According to the United Nations Food Waste Index 2021, Germany is currently at the top of the European countries in terms of food wasted in household waste. Only a few other countries in the world, such as China, India, America and Japan, are wasting more food than Germany.

In this context, according to the United Nations report, on the one hand, 931 million tons of food is wasted in the garbage bins, while on the other hand, more than 800 million people on earth are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

However, the German government has set itself the goal of reducing overall food waste by at least half by 2030 and diverting as much food as possible to 960 food banks across the country instead of landfills. To be delivered.

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