China adopts law against food waste; binge eating, excessive leftovers to face fines
China officially adopted a law against food waste on Thursday, banning binge-eating videos and excessive leftovers, which observers said will foster a resource-conserving and environmentally-friendly society.
The long-awaited law was officially approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Thursday. It is expected to establish a basic code of conduct and build a long-term mechanism to stop food waste and guide society to foster rational and healthy catering consumption habits.
Chinese leaders have frequently emphasized the necessity of preventing food waste, despite the fact that China has seen consecutive bumper harvests.
Observers noted that adoption of the legislation against food waste does not imply that China is facing an immediate food shortage risk, but it is a far-sighted move for food security as the country seeks to stabilize domestic grain output and ensure supply, facing increasing domestic demand for grain due to population growth and external uncertainties.
The 32-clause law bans food vloggers from making and distributing binge-eating videos online, threatening fines of up to 100,000 yuan ($15,451). Some vloggers perform on short-video platforms pretending to be competitive eaters but in reality, they usually leave a lot of food uneaten and often vomit what they have consumed.
The law also allows restaurants to charge diners an extra fee if they leave excessive amounts of food uneaten. Food providers that induce or mislead consumers into making excessive orders face fines of up to 10,000 yuan. A maximum fine of 50,000 yuan will be given to food service operators that waste large amounts of food, the law stipulates.