April 29, 2024

A focus on food waste could see French businesses save

From 1st January 2024, new legislation in France relating to the separation of food waste has changed the way that both households and businesses must handle their organic waste.

As well as complying with the new rules, with the right waste management and recycling systems in place, businesses could stand to make both cost savings and reduce the amount of food waste ending in landfills and its related environmental impacts.

What are the new food waste laws in France?

Where previously only those who generated over five tonnes of organic waste per year were required to separate it, the new rules, known as ‘compost obligatoire’, state that households and businesses must separate all organic waste no matter the volume. The legislation requires food scraps, vegetable peels, expired food and garden waste to be sorted from general waste, to then be collected at home for households or at a municipal collection point for businesses. The collected waste will then be turned into biogas or compost to replace chemical fertilisers.

How else can businesses benefit from better recycling of food waste?

It’s clear that this new legislation is something for hospitality businesses in particular to pay attention to, but what about businesses in other sectors? Inevitably, with employees, comes food waste no matter your sector, so ensuring you have an effective organic waste recycling strategy in place is essential for everyone.

We know that for 60% of businesses, the perceived cost of implementing sustainability practices such as recycling can be off-putting1 but it’s worth remembering that ensuring that your business is compliant with new legislation is also an opportunity for better recycling, reduced waste and associated environmental impacts and even reduced costs.

When food waste goes to landfill it rots and produces methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide2, making it 80 times more harmful than CO2 for 20 years after it is released, and responsible for 25% of the global warming we are experiencing today. 3. It is estimated that wasted food is responsible for 58% of landfill methane emissions to the atmosphere4. By correctly separating and managing food waste, your business can contribute positively to reducing the effects of climate change linked to it and improve your sustainability credentials. What’s more, reducing the volume of waste that goes to landfill will mean a reduction in costs when considering landfill taxes and potential fines for non-compliance.

What does compliant recycling look like?

From installing waste containers back of house in a commercial kitchen to investing in a multi-stream recycling system that will capture not only food waste, but other waste streams front of house, it’s worthwhile investing in a cohesive waste management system. But what could that look like for your business?

For commercial kitchens, bars or any area where space is at a premium, bins with a small physical footprint, such as the Slim Jim® Step On, will slip snugly into any nook or cranny without interfering with operations. With a durable pedal that allows for hands-free operation and lids to help odour-control, they are a hygienic solution that reduces the risk of cross-contamination and helps promote consistent recycling. For under-counter collection, the Slim Jim® Vented is another option for constrained spaces. Crafted to make waste management compliance easier and designed with built-in venting to reduce strain on workers, the Vented model sits neatly under bars, countertops or even desks.

To encourage separation at source front of house, the modular Slim Jim® Recycling Stations allow your business to not only separate food waste but other recycling streams too e.g. mixed recycling, glass, plastic bottles, paper and card. What’s more, the modular capability allows you to tailor your stations to the needs of your facility, adding or even taking away streams as necessary, giving you the flexibility you need to maximise sorting for recycling rates throughout.

For busy back of house areas where large volumes of recyclable waste are generated, installing large, tough containers like the iconic BRUTE® can help capture capacity while facilitating separation at source.

All three Slim Jim® products and our BRUTE® can be chosen with colour and signage in mind to help users to quickly understand what type of waste can be recycled and where, reducing cross-contamination and allowing for optimal waste separation.  They also come with long warranties helping your business to invest in waste and recycling containers that last longer, helping you to buy better and waste less, supporting wider sustainability targets and protecting budgets.



  1. RCP Report 2023: Why Product Longevity is a Powerful First Step to Improving Commercial Sustainability
  2. https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/fight-climate-change-by-preventing-food-waste
  3. UNEP, What’s the deal with methane, 2022 https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/video/whats-deal-methane#:~:text=Due%20to%20its%20structure%2C%20methane,warming%20to%201.5%C2%B0C.
  4. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Quantifying Methane Emissions from Landfilled Food Waste (PDF) (1.77 MB, 2023)

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