The diversity of instruments included in the policy mix reflects on the scale of their varied application. EU legislation and strategies are one element, as well as instruments at the national and regional-municipal level. Accordingly, there are a number of implementing bodies responsible for the instruments which are listed below, along with their main roles within the policy mix:

  • European Union - development and implementation of EU legislative measures which set out necessary actions and targets to be met by Italy;
  • Italian regulators (Italian Parliament, Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Agencies) - regulation of waste management facilities, monitoring and enforcement issues, national waste strategies and set targets in line with national priorities.
  • Local authorities (municipalities) - household and business waste collection services, waste disposal, waste legislation enforcement, and encouragement of good waste management (e.g. recycling) in all  municipalities.

The overarching goal of the Italian food waste policy-mix which is in line with the waste hierarchy is to reduce the amount of food waste which is produced as a whole, and subsequently the food waste which ends up in landfills. The specific targets of the individual policy mix instruments vary, especially seen through sector-specific objectives.

The main rationale behind the development of food waste policies in Italy is to reduce the amount and type of waste ending up in landfills in order to meet the EU Landfill Directive targets. Accordingly, priority is given to reducing waste at its source (prevention), reusing products, recycling materials before disposal, as well as through other forms of recovery (e.g. energy recovery).  Thus, while a number of different types of instruments have been applied to address food waste issue in Italy, the most relevant tend to be centered around market-based and fiscal instruments along with communication campaigns.

The management of food waste in Italy has Evolved in the last 20 years. It began in 1972 with Presidential Decree of 26 October 1972, n. 633 - Establishment and implementation of a value added tax and has moved progressively up the Connected to the Environmental Stability Law of 2014  ("Provisions on environmental measures to promote a green economy and to contain the excessive use of natural resources") and to PINPAS, the national strategy to prevent and reduce food waste.

The development of voluntary agreements to involve main stakeholders along the food supply chain is an additional step to reduce and prevent food waste.

Since food waste is a complex issue, it follows a multifaceted policy-mix that is necessary to achieve the desired reduction impacts. Behavioural changes are central to reducing the environmental, social and economic consequences arising from unnecessary food waste and are therefore the main focus of information-based instruments.

Figure 1. Italy’s Policy Mix at December 2014

* The National Strategy on Food Waste Prevention was under discussion at December 2014.

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National Plan for Food Waste Prevention (Piano Nazionale di prevenzione dello spreco alimentare) (in Italian)
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Ecotassa (Ecotax): Law n° 549 – 28th of December 1995 –Measures for rationalization of public finances (in Italian)
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Legislative Decree 109/1992 - Implementation of directives n. 89/395 / EEC and n. 89/396 / EEC relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising 'of foodstuffs (in Italian)
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Legislative Decree 4th of December 1997, n. 460/1997 - Reorganisation of the tax regulations for non-commercial, non-profit entities- (Art. 13) (in Italian)
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Presidential Decree of 26 October 1972, n. 633 - Establishment and implementation of value added tax - (Art. 10 Step 12) (in Italian)
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Law 13 May 1999, n. 133 - Provisions for equalization, rationalization and fiscal federalism - (Art. 6, paragraph 15) (in Italian)
No weblink to the document available.

Good Samaritan Law (Law n ° 155/2003) (in Italian)
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Consolidated Environmental Code (Legislative Decree 152/2006 and subsequent amendments and additions): Part IV - Rules for waste management and remediation of polluted sites (in Italian)
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147/2013 Law - Provisions for the preparation of the annual  and multi-year budget  of Italy (Act established '2014) - Phar. 236-237Law 147/2013 - (in Italian)
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Connected to the Environmental Stability Law 2014 ("Provisions on environmental measures to promote green economy and to contain the excessive use of natural resources") (in Italian)
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Zero Waste Charter
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Milan Protocol - Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition
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Costa, P., Ferlan, C., Villafiorita A. (2013) Chi porta da mangiare? Il cibo tra eccessi e scarsità (Who brings the food? Food between excesses and scarsity). Trento, Fondazione Kessler publishing. (in Italian)

Garrone, P., Melacini M., Perego A. (2012) Dar da mangiare agli affamati. Le eccedenze alimentari come opportunità (Feed the hungry. Surplus food as an opportunity), Milano, Guerini e Associati publishing. (in Italian)

Segrè, A., Falasconi, L. (2011) Il libro nero dello spreco in Italia: il cibo (The black book of food waste in Italy: food), Milano, Edizioni Ambiente publishing. (in Italian)

Segrè, A., Falasconi, L. (2012) Il libro blu dello spreco in Italia: l’acqua (The blue book of food waste in Italy: water), Milano, Edizioni Ambiente publishing. (in Italian)

Segrè, A., Vittuari, M. (2013) Il libro verde dello spreco in Italia: l’energia (The green book of food waste in Italy: energy), Milano, Edizioni Ambiente publishing. (in Italian)

Major reports and scientific articles:

Alessi, E., Bertolini, T., Bologna, G., Castaldi, S., Femia, A., Parisi, G., Valentini, V. (2013) Quanta natura sprechiamo? Le pressioni ambientali degli sprechi alimentari in Italia (How much nature do we waste? Food waste and its environmental pressures in Italy), WWF. (in Italian)

Barilla Food and Nutrition Center (2012) Food waste: causes, impacts and proposals, Milano, Codice Edizioni publishing.
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Falasconi, L., Gaiani, S., Vittuari, M., Segrè, A. (2014) ‘Household food waste in Italy’, Food Waste and Losses in the Mediterranean, CIHEAM, Watch Letter n. 30.
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Garrone, P., Melacini M., Perego A. (2014) ‘Surplus food recovery and donation in Italy: the upstream process’, British Food Journal, 116 (9), 1460–1477.

Waste Watcher - Permanent Observatory on Household Food Waste in Italy (2013), Report 2013: Executive summary, Last Minute Market, Report number: 1. (in Italian)
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A year against food waste
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Together against food waste (in Italian)
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Discounted selling for products close to the expiration date in the retail sector (in Italian)
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Eco-Vaschetta (Eco-doggybag) (in Italian)
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Il Buono che avanza (The good proceeds) (in Italian)
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Ri-gustami a casa (Re-use me at home) (in Italian)
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Frutta urbana (Urban fruits) (in Italian)
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Slow Food Education and The Municipality of Bagno Ripoli
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All links cited in the references have been accessed for the last time on October 27, 2015.


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