Georgia Introduces Innovative Law to Reduce Food Waste and Landfill Dumping
Georgia's new law aims to reduce food waste and provide tax benefits to businesses that donate leftover food to charity. The law, titled "On reducing food losses and food waste and food donation," was developed in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. It has already passed the first reading in Parliament, and while some changes may be made, its authors believe it will be innovative in the region.
The law's primary goal is to reduce the large amount of food waste that ends up in landfills in Georgia. Studies have shown that in 2019 alone, 261 tons of food was thrown away in the country, which is a significant amount per capita. The law will not only reduce waste but also provide leftover food to people living below the poverty line.
The law will benefit both the private sector and charitable organizations. Businesses that donate leftover food will receive tax benefits, such as a reduced amount required for declaration submission to the tax agency. This will help reduce the cost of waste disposal, which is a significant expense for many businesses.
In addition, charitable organizations will be able to receive food donations and provide them to those in need. The law will be completely voluntary, and businesses will be able to participate at their own will. The law is set to be fully implemented on January 1, 2025, and amendments will be made to the Waste Management Code, Georgian Tax Code, and Food, Animal Feed Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection Code.
The authors of the law have consulted with businesses, including restaurateurs and the HoReCa sector, and have found a willingness to participate in the program. Overall, the law is an important step towards reducing food waste and promoting social responsibility among businesses in Georgia.