A new French national law will stop supermarkets from throwing away unsold food by forcing them to donate it to food banks.

The law, which was voted in unanimously by the French senate, will apply to supermarkets with a floor area of 400 square metres or larger, and aims to stop the vast amount of unsold food thrown away by supermarkets across the country.

A spokesman for Banques Alimentaires, a network of food banks which operates across France, said that the new law will address the imbalance of different foods in their donations, with a lack of meat, fruit and vegetables.

“That is very important for food banks because this is a real source of quality products, coming straight from the factory,” he said.

The next step for campaigners will be to aim for such a law to apply across the whole of the EU, with hopes that the French government will request such a piece of legislation. But Banques Alimentaires also says that they want to stop food waste in bakeries, restaurants and school canteens.