A ruling by the Court of Cassation which, in 2014, sanctioned the right of customers of restaurants, pizzerias and cafés to take leftover food home. Since then, however, this habit has not made much progress, if about 70 percent of restaurateurs confess that their customers do not seem interested in the so-called doggy bag.
As a Food Journalism Festival we think we should all convince ourselves of how useful the doggy bag is, the bag with which the restaurant allows the customer to bring the leftover food to the table at random. The waste of food in restaurants is very high: it exceeds 30 percent of the meals ordered. But there is still too much shyness, modesty, and sometimes even shame, in the use of the doggy bag. Think 25 percent of Italians consider it "vulgar, rude and poor".
For this reason an additional incentive should be given to restaurateurs, introducing a tax relief for those who use the doggy bag regularly. It would be a way to push all public places to use this anti-waste tool.
Or launch the relief measures accompanied by a concomitant obligation to deliver to the customer a food bag (more appropriate name of doggy bag).
An awareness project with related bags had already been launched on the occasion of Terra Madre 2016 with Cuki and Slow Food. Another project was launched in 2019 by Fipe (Federation of public businesses) and Comieco (Consortium for the recycling of paper and cardboard) have made an agreement according to which, after an initial experimental phase on 1.000 public businesses, 30 thousand restaurants will be they will have the doggy bag.
Other initiatives took place in favor of the food bag in various municipalities, starting from cities such as Milan and Modena.
Meanwhile, in the Official Gazette no. 202 of 30 August 2016, Law 19 August 2016, no. 166 ("Provisions concerning the donation and distribution of food and pharmaceutical products for the purpose of social solidarity and for the limitation of waste") whose provisions entered into force on 14 September 2016.
In Italy less than 20% of visitors to restaurants, fairs and canteens require a container to take home the leftovers of food they have paid, which, therefore, are wasted.
In France, a law has been in force for 4 years which obliges restaurants to deliver food left over from customers if they request it. In Italy we are ashamed to ask for it and the restaurant owner does not offer it to us: so we throw away money and feed the scourge of food waste.
The petition wants to push a real bill of Parliament to introduce in all catering the obligation to deliver to the customer a food bag with materials suitable for contact with food and for the transport that shows, printed, a decalogue for the correct conservation of the food. The Decalogue is a strong reference to anti-waste education and food safety education.
Recipients of the petition
Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies / Ministry of Health (more generic)
The President of the Agriculture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies (The Commission where the PDL can mature and the Bill would be discussed) and the two vice-presidents
As a festival we want to launch a bill to introduce all over the national territory The obligation for all public businesses they administer non-carbonated foods and alcoholic drinks (pure) to deliver the uneaten food to the customer, protected in special containers approved by the Ministry of Health, even if the surplus delivered in this way no longer respects the organoleptic characteristics of the food just administered. The obligation must also apply to non-carbonated and pure alcoholic drinks (still wine, bitters, spirits, etc.) also to reduce the consumption of alcohol during meals and evenings by spreading it.
Now our task is not to draw up the draft law, with all the appropriate opinions expressed by the competent ministries and health bodies.
What we have to do is to launch a proposal which, then, politics will have to take charge in order to legislate accurately.
The proposal aims at the OBLIGATION: this is to overcome the traditional embarrassment of the customer (especially the visitor to starred restaurants). If they deliver it to him, the customer will eventually discard it in the bins or take it home.
In France the "doggy bag" (which we will call "Food Bag") has been compulsory for 4 years for restaurants over 180 seats. The restaurateur must deliver the doggy bag to those who request it. We propose that you deliver it even if the customer does not ask for it.
It is a proposal that aims to leverage the value of food which, consequently, leverages waste ("I paid for it, I eat it tomorrow at the office too, so I save").
The Fodd Bag kit changes according to the cases of advanced food and drinks but it should include: a Food Bag, an airtight sealing device for bottles of wine and water, a hermetically sealed small glass-container for spirits.
They can be personalized with the logo of the exercise and must contain the conservation regulations issued by the Ministry of Health in compliance with the proposed law.
The most feasible hypothesis is that of an amendment to the 2016 law against food waste.