German legislators have ruled that so-called 'dumpster diving' will remain illegal throughout the country.
An application by Hamburg-based senator Till Steffen (Grüne), on lifting restrictions on this practice was rejected by the majority of German justice ministers at their meeting in Lübeck last week, zeit.de reported.
Instead, they are calling for the launch of alternative measures to make it easier for large providers to voluntarily hand over food to third parties.
"I consider the decision that people who are taking action against waste in form of dumpster diving should be prosecuted, as wrong", Steffen told the paper.
The application couldn't be sanctioned because of the hygiene concerns involved in the practice of 'dumpster diving', said the ministers, also referring to legal and liability issues from the practice.
This decision was heavily criticised by the charity Tafel and several activists.
"We could have finally moved in a direction that is not only logically comprehensible but also corresponds to our climate policy and resource saving debate", student activists Franziska S. and Caroline K., who were arrested in January over dumpster diving, told zeit.de.
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