Incentives (E.G. PAYT Schemes) for Those Commercial and Productive Activities Which Are Actively Engaged in Limiting Food Waste

Città Metropolitana di Roma, Dipartimento IV – Tutela e valorizzazione ambientale Direzione

Website: http://www.cittametropolitanaroma.gov.it/

Contact: 

Patrizia Giancotti 

E-mail:  p.giancotti@cittametropolitanaroma.gov.it dipartimentoIV@cittametropolitanaroma.gov.it
Pec:ambiente@pec.cittametropolitanaroma.gov.it 
Phone:0667663369 – 3113
Address: Via Tiburtina 691 – 00159 Roma

References: more information you can find here, hereherehere, here, here, here, here.

 

 „We designed the practice with the objective of increasing the level of compliance with the EU legislation, conceiving an implementation strategy that involves rewarding activities, rather than application of penalties and constraints. Having in regard the usual long process of implementation for PAYT scheme, we have designed an approach that implies award contributions to those municipalities willing to undertake projects aimed at reducing food waste and rescuing unsold food for charities / animal feed.”
Patrizia Giancotti, Città metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Dip. to IV „Tutela e Valorizzazione Ambientale”

         

WHERE: Italy – Città Metropolitana di Roma
WHEN: Ongoing: Call for tenders was launched in December 2017 and application deadline was in January 2018.
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Multiple – Prevention, Reusing, Recycling                                                                                                                  TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Regulatory/normative
WASTE STREAMS: Municipal waste, Food and organic waste

About: The Metropolitan City of Rome published a tender for calls to award contributions to those municipalities willing to undertake projects aimed at reducing food waste and rescuing unsold food for charities or animal feed. Guidelines on the development of proper project proposals were included in tender documents.

Photo Source: Tgtourism

Objectives

  • Reduction of waste management costs for organic and food waste with social and environmental benefits;
  • Engagement of private stakeholders (i.e. citizens, grocery retail sector, restaurants) in food prevention and recovery activities.
  • Donation of uneaten and/or unsold food to charities or animal feed.
  • Tax relief for those commercial activities supporting waste prevention and recovery projects.

Resources

1. Knowhow: municipalities are required to develop specific projects aimed at raising awareness on food waste prevention and at rescuing unsold food.

2. Funding/budget: The overall funds involved in the implementation of this practice amounted to € 500.000 and were awarded by the metropolitan and regional authorities. Each municipality can receive up to € 25.000 for the implementation of its specific pro-ject.

3. Material resources:

–  Municipal Regulation for Waste Management modified to include tax reliefs fore-seen by national Law 166/2016 and other tax reliefs foreseen in relation to recy-cling practices (i.e. Home Composting).
– Documentation for the request of tax relief and communication of termination of requirements for tariff advantages.

4. Human resources: Municipal technical and administrative staff to be engaged in the modification of the regulation, in the collection and verification of documentation, in the transfer of benefits in the waste bills.

5. Period of implementation: winning projects are expected to last at least one year.

Italian waste in the food industry

Photo Source: Barrilla Center for Food & Nutrition

Results

Expected results are the reduction of food waste and lowering the waste collection and management costs.

The Italian authorities in general (and Municipality of Rome, in particular) are permanently seeking for solutions in fighting against food losses and waste.

Every year in Italy are thrown away over 5 million tons of food, the equivalent of 15.4% of food consumption, an amount that would be enough to feed all the families still in poverty in this country.

At the same time, donations to charitable organizations represent less than 9% of the food surpluses that the entire supply chain produces. Encouraging donations, which allow waste reduction and related management costs, also by introducing a concept of reward, such as a reduction in waste tax, would represent a powerful stimulus to support donations.[1]

[1]https://www.casilinanews.it/80239/attualita/roma-spreco-alimentare.html

Urban metabolism relevance

Food is wasted before, during or after meal preparation in the households and is discarded during production, manufacturing, distribution, retail and catering.
Food waste in industrialized countries is as high as in developing countries:
-In developing countries, over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing;
-In industrialized countries, over 40% occurs at retail and consumer level.[2]

Food Losses and Waste has a deep impact on the society, not only economically, but also due to the related environmental and social costs. A pioneer study by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2014 attempted to provide a first assessment of such costs.[3]
Environmental and social costs of food losses and waste are presented below:

Citizens: Every day, between what remains on the plate, in the refrigerator and in the pantry of the house, the Italians throw 100 grams of food: a share that, multiplied 365 days a year, brings us to 36.92 kg of food, for a cost of 250 EUR/year.

The most wasted foods: the „incriminated” meal is the dinner, dinner waste being 1½ bigger than lunch waste, thus:
– Vegetables (20 grams/day), accounting for 25.6% of total daily waste (in a year means to waste 7.1 kg of vegetables).
– Milk and dairy products (13.16 grams/day), meaning 17.6% of the total daily waste, weighing 4.8 kg/year.
– Fruits (12.24 grams/day) and bakery products (8.8 grams/day).
The causes are the expiration date reached or exceeded or products gone bad (in 46% of cases) or food not appreciated (26%).

Supermarkets and hypermarkets: In economic terms, the impact of food waste on the sales points of sales outlets is below 1% for hypermarkets and reaches 1.4% for supermarkets.

School canteens: The statistics show that almost 1/3 of the meal is thrown away[4] (according to other statistics, the percent is much higher – 50% [5]).

As this practice aims at preventing food waste production through tax relief, citizens and commercial activities are encouraged to engage in household or neighbor composting activities, thus contributing to closing the loop of resources.

[2]https://www.ecc-netitalia.it/en/news-and-publications/news/420-10-tips-from-the-eu-commission-to-limit-food-waste                                                                                                                                      [3] http://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/iaiwp1725.pdf                          [4]https://www.foodweb.it/2018/02/stop-allo-spreco-alimentare/        [5]https://www.italiaatavola.net/professioni/gestione-norme-sindacati/2016/2/17/spreco-cibo-bar-ristoranti-fipe-appello-legge/43198/

Citizens and commercial activities generate significant quantities of food waste.

Photo source: Instituto Afairi Internationali, Fighting against Food Losses and Waste:
An EU Agenda

Innovation

France and Italy have made the most innovative normative steps to fight against Food Losses and Waste (FLW). In the last years, they have passed new laws which aim both to reduce FLW and to boost food donations.

Law 166/2016 regarding the food waste can be considered as the final step of the National Food Waste Prevention Plan (Piano nazionale di prevenzione degli sprechi nazionali – PINPAS), launched in 2013 by the Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea. The goal of the Italian legislation is two-fold. On one hand it tries to match needs with surpluses, and on the other it aims to simplify procedures for food donation. The law is intended to support those actors among producers, enterprises, supermarkets or small retailers that are willing to donate but that are discouraged by bureaucratic hurdles as well as heavy costs.

Municipalities may apply a reduction on the TARI (the Italian waste charge), proportionate to the quantity of goods and products donated.[6]

The call for tenders provided guidelines which support municipalities in the elaboration of the project, in the selection of the activities to be carried out and in the selection of stakeholders to be engaged.

[6] http://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/iaiwp1725.pdf

Engaged participatory processes

All the proposals are required to include an active engagement of a network of stakeholders for the implementation of each specific project. When the proposal involves the conduction of informational campaigns, the engagement of citizens (through doggy bag initiatives, for example) is strategic for achieving positive outcomes.

The municipalities where this best practice has been initiated are the following: Albano Laziale, Artena, Castel San Pietro, Castelnuovo di porto, Ciciliano, Civitavecchia, Fontenuova, Genzano, Lanuvio and Rocca Priora.

Economic impact of food waste by main sectors in Italy

Photo Source: Barrilla Center for Food & Nutrition

Sustainability and replicability

The practice can have effects and be functional once the funding/organizational support ends as it can potentially become an ordinary practice in the citizens’ own organization in terms of house waste management.

The call for tenders published by the Metropolitan City of Rome is a clear and simple tool that can be easily used by other municipalities aimed at developing and implementing similar projects on food waste prevention and recovery.

However, it is important to mention that this practice has a favorable background, based on the fact that the Italian food supply chain is quite performant if compared to other European countries. While some stages of the chain manage to limit or reuse the surplus, others face more difficulties due to various factors (food characteristics, fragmentation of subjects involved, etc.).

In the retailing sector many actors have undertaken important actions not only to improve the efficiency of the whole supply chain, but also working with NGOs and charitable organizations dealing with food donation.food donation.[7]

For example, an interesting project which brings together several restaurants that are donating food to charities in order to prevent and reduce food waste is Ristorante Solidale – Just Eat (the food delivery platform), which includes 14 restaurants in Rome. https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/food/2018-06-21/il-food-delivery-solidale-contro-spreco-alimentare-approda-anche-roma-104106.shtml

Therefore, improving the sustainability of the food chain is essential in tackling climate change, resource scarcity and global food security.

[7] http://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/iaiwp1725.pdf

Success Factors

Key elements that are essential for the positive outcomes of the practice are both the presence of a municipal regulation and the promotion of financial facilitations.

Based on the Italian law against food waste, municipalities can offer benefits/incentives and discounts on trash collecting taxes for commercial and productive businesses which choose to recycle and donate rather than discarding.

Due to constant preoccupation of Italian authorities to simplify the bureaucratic process linked to food donations (aspects regulated by Law 166/2016 against Food Waste), food producers and commercial businesses are now more willing to enter into incentivizing programs, such as that run by the Metropolitan City of Rome.

On the other hand, the economic crisis started in 2008 led to a natural reduction of food waste in Italy. According to a survey conducted in October 2011 by Coldiretti-SWG, Italians have reduced food waste by 57% because of the economic crisis. Among the measures taken to reduce food waste are to shop more wisely – 47% of respondents; reduce the quantity of food purchased – 31%; increase use of leftover products in meals – 24% and pay more attention to expiration dates – 18%.[8]

[8] https://www.barillacfn.com/m/publications/food-waste-causes-impact-proposals.pdf

 

UrbanWINS

Waste, Resources, Innovation.

Key Challenges

  1. In Europe, Food Supply Chain (FSC) operators are rather reluctant to donate, not only due to the risk of being legally pursued in the case that food-related health problems to beneficiaries arise, but also due to the consequent reputational damage. The European regulation attributes FSC operators with the same level of responsibility for both the food they sell to customers and for the food they donate to charities for redistribution to needy people.[9]

Some of the EU member states (e.g., France, Greece, Italy) have set provisions to facilitate donations by transferring the product liability from the donors to the charities that receive and redistribute the food.[10]

  1. The lack of provisions on the traceability of products (which should be provided by the Ministry of Health) is another challenge.
  1. Also, the economic incentives are not strong enough to boost food donations or to decrease the food losses and waste in the agri-food system. For these reasons, food donation cannot be considered a long-term strategy, but rather a first step to set up a truly just and sustainable food supply chain.[11]
  1. To efficiently implement the schemes and programmes against food waste, the Italian municipalities have to consider both commercial and productive activities from their area, but also the citizens, who generates significant quantities of food waste:
  • the average household waste is: – 35% of fresh products; – 19% of bread; – 16% of fruits and vegetables (as per the Association for the Defence and Orientation of Consumers) and
  • more waste comes from restaurants, bars, and cafeterias.[12]
  1. Cheap price of food in households of developed countries.

[9] https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/80070279.pdf                                                                                                                                [10] Idem                                                                                                                           [11]http://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/iaiwp1725.pdf                                                                                                                          [12] https://www.barillacfn.com/m/publications/food-waste-causes-impact-proposals.pdf

Info

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