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China adds teeth to crusade against food waste with new law

Restaurants, broadcasters and more face penalties for promoting overindulgence

Restaurants that encourage excessive orders by customers will be fined up to $1,500 for repeat offenses.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China enacted a wide-ranging law Thursday designed to reduce food waste in the country, including by imposing fines of up to 100,000 yuan ($15,500) on broadcasters and streaming services involved in content that promotes binge eating.

The law, which answers President Xi Jinping's calls for greater awareness regarding food security, also targets China's restaurant scene. When eating out, Chinese hosts traditionally order more food rather than less as a way to show hospitality to their guests. Restaurants now are permitted to collect a garbage disposal fee from customers who leave large amounts of food on their plates.

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