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'Doggy bags' introduced in Paris restaurants to cut food waste

AFP | ‘Doggy bags’ were introduced in 100 Paris restaurants in an effort to cut food wastage

In a bid to combat food waste, Parisian authorities and a catering union have joined forces to introduce the use of “doggy bags” in the French capital.

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Although commonplace in many parts of the world, French restaurant-goers rarely demand take-out service from Paris’s notoriously brusque waiters.

The initiative will be launched on Thursday in 100 restaurants in the wake of COP21, the UN climate change conference hosted by France that ran from November 30 to December 12.

Nearly 60 percent of Parisians say they don’t finish everything on their plates when they eat out. And 75 percent of those surveyed said they would be willing to use a takeaway for leftovers, according to a joint statement from the City of Paris and Synhorcat-GNI, a union representing cafés, hotels and restaurants. To ease the fears of food establishments, the union clarified that a restaurant’s responsibility ends upon serving the meal to customers initially, and it cannot be held responsible for any subsequent deterioration in its quality or safety.

The joint statement noted that, in the French capital, “nearly 57 kg of organic waste is thrown away per year per capita, which consists mainly of leftover food and packaged food products that haven’t been consumed”.

And bio-waste accounts for nearly one-third of all the waste produced by the French capital, the group said.

The city said it decided to step in and offer restaurant owners special doggy bags – made here in France – that would allow them to offer customers a take-home option.

Synhorcat-GNI said that 95 percent of respondents said they were willing to use a doggy bag, citing a report by a regional directorate for food, agriculture and forests (Les Directions Régionales de l’Alimentation, de l’Agriculture et de la Forêt) that surveyed 2,700 consumers in October.

In practice, however, few yet dare to make a request for doggy bags in French restaurants, the report said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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