France combats food waste with doggy bags

PARIS (REUTERS) - With the New Year, many diners in France are seeing something new at their table - a doggy bag.

A new law requires restaurants to cut food waste.

So director Yann Hulin of Paris' Bouillon Chartier restaurant is getting rid of their leftovers the same way many Americans hostesses do during the holidays - he's sending them home with their guests.

"There's no real law that was applied, but the government simply encourages restaurant owners to respond favorably to clients who ask to take their leftovers home in a doggy bag," said Mr Hulin.

But the suggestion brings a howl of protest from some diners.

"It's not in our culture! It's not in the French culture, it never has been. How come Americans wear a revolver on their belts and French people don't?" questioned a Parisian diner, Mr Aime.

But the French government is determined to trim some of the 1-and-a-half million metric tonnes of food they say the country's restaurants throw away each year.

So French diners may be forced to retrain themselves not to turn up their noses at the doggy bag.