New Law Says Au Revoir to Plastic Cutlery in France

New Law Says Au Revoir to Plastic Cutlery in France

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France is the first country to ban plastic cutlery, with a law that is expected to go into effect in 2020.

The law, which prohibits plastic plates, cups and utensils, is part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act. It emphasizes the principle of a circular economy, which looks at reducing waste disposal. The act previously banned plastic bags in the country’s stores and markets.

French President François Hollande described the ban as an attempt to “make France … an exemplary nation in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diversifying its energy model and increasing the deployment of renewable energy sources.”

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There have, however, been some vociferous opponents to the ban. The French environment minister, Ségolène Royal, previously said it was an anti-social concept, since plastic utensils are generally used by low-income families. Eamonn Bates, secretary-general of Pack2Go Europe, which represents European packaging manufacturers, also belongs to this group.

“We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law. If they don’t, we will,” he said (James McAuley, Washington Post, Sept. 19).

Reprinted with permission from E&E Publishing

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