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French Supermarkets Will No Longer Be Allowed to Do This

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Consumers buy nectarines and cherries at the fruits section in an Auchan supermarket on June 27, 2014, in northern France. Photograph by Philippe Huguen—AFP/Getty Images

The garbage bins outside French grocery stores are about to get a lot lighter.

The French Senate has unanimously approved a bill to ban large grocery stores from throwing away unsold food. Instead, the stores must either compost or donate the food to charities, according to the Huffington Post.

The law also forbids stores from pouring bleach on discarded food, which some supermarkets do to dissuade foragers.

Food banks welcomed the new ruling, but they will have to increase their staff and storage dramatically in order to accept the excess food, according to the Guardian. Currently, supermarkets donate 35,000 tons of food to charity each year.

The activist behind the bill, Parisian councillor Arash Derambarsh, says that his next step is to get a similar ban enacted across the entire European Union. “This battle is only just beginning,” he told the publication. “We now have to fight food waste in restaurants, bakeries, school canteens and company canteens.”