France Bids Adieu to Plastic Cups, Plates and Cutlery

Published On November 11, 2016 | By Hannah Ellsbury | News

Beginning in 2020, a new law in France will ban plastic cutlery, cups and plates and make it the first country to make a change of this kind. It’s part of France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, which also banned disposable plastic bags in the country and went into effect in March of this year.

The law requires that disposable tableware meets two parameters – it must be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials and it must be compostable at home.

France’s increased restrictions on plastic products are a result of the global climate agreement made in Paris in 2015, during which various nations met to slow the effects of climate change.

Fossil fuels are necessary in the production of plastic products, a process that contributes to climate change. Single-use, disposable plastic products like bags, water bottles, cups and cutlery will not biodegrade and ultimately end up in landfills or polluting waterways and oceans – with an adverse effect on wildlife.

François Hollande, the president of France, believes the new law will make his country “… an exemplary nation in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diversifying its energy model and increasing the deployment of renewable energy sources.”

The ban has its protesters as well. Pack2Go Europe, a trade group of European packaging manufacturers, is pressuring the European Commission to initiate a legal battle against France on the basis that the ban violates EU law on the free movement of goods.

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