It seems ludicrous to penalise people who fish perfectly edible food out of the likes of Iceland’s bins. Surely the main problem is that the supermarkets have so much waste in the first place.
When I lived in Bordeaux a number of years ago, I worked with a charity known as Les Restos du Coeur (literally translated as Restaurants of the heart), an organisation originally set up by the actor and comedian Coluche in the 80’s to help feed the homeless.
They use empty restaurant premises and cook and serve food to the homeless; perfectly edible food from supermarkets which would otherwise have been thrown away because it was a couple of days before the sell-by date.
We picked up the food from the supermarkets and delivered it to the restaurants where we cooked it. The supermarket got free publicity (since it would otherwise have thrown away the food) and the homeless got fed. It’s called a win-win situation.
There are now almost 2,500 Restos throughout France – others have been set up in Belgium and Germany.
Perhaps we should set up a similar institution Instead of prosecuting people for ‘stealing’ food that should never have been dumped in the first place.