France passes a new law to ensure that all plastic cups, plates and cutlery are made up of 50 percent biologically sourced materials by 2020, as an attempt to take steps against climate change.

As an ambitious plan to tackle climate change, France passed the law to ensure all plastic cups, plates and cutlery are made up of at least 50 percent biologically sourced materials by 2020. This number will rise to 65 percent by 2025.

This was decided as an attempt to make the plastics used in the country more biodegradable and therefore less harmful for the environment, and overall work against climate change.

ASEF

According to the French Association of Health and Environment (ASEF), 150 plastic cups are thrown away per second in the country- equating to 4.73 billion per year, while only 1% of them are recycled due to the fact that they’re made up of a mixture of polypropylene and polystyrene.

This decision has had some positive responses from the public, however, as expected, some have also responded negatively, arguing that it has violated European Union rules on “free movement of goods.”

For example, Pack2Go Europe said: “We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law,” Pack2go Europe secretary general Eamonn Bates told The Associated Press. “If they don’t, we will.”

Statements

Bates said there is no proof that biologically sourced materials are more environment-friendly, emphasizing that people will misunderstand biodegradability.

“[The ban will] be understood by consumers to mean that it is OK to leave this packaging behind in the countryside after use because it’s easily bio-degradable in nature. That’s nonsense! It may even make the litter problem worse,” he said.

He also said: “Finding a package that meets the really critical food hygiene requirements that consumers want, that can also be composted in a domestic composter…right now they don’t exist,” said Eamonn Bates, secretary general of the Brussels-based body.

“My members are not against bio plastics or new products. But the industry does oppose them being imposed for certain applications especially when the life-cycle analysis shows that there is no environmental basis for doing so.”

 

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