France Cuts Out Single-Use Plastic

As we start the new year, France has announced that they are now banning plastic packaging on most fruit and veg packaging in supermarkets. This is an incredible step towards limiting the amount of plastic waste and diverting materials from landfill. The ban officially came into effect in order to cut out the use of single-use plastics across the country that have such a major impact on our planet's pollution.

The New Rules

There are over 40 items that can now no longer be sold in plastic; others will be slowly banned in years approaching with the mission of phasing out single-use plastics by 2040. Instead, the food will be packaged using recycled materials which will help to save raw materials being used in production and boost a more sustainable industry in the food market. President Macron has called the ban “a real revolution”, with the government claiming that this will result in eliminating approximately 1 billion items of plastic every year. They have also announced that in 2022 public spaces will be forced to provide water fountains, to also help cut plastic bottle usage and encourage people to refill their bottles rather than purchase more.  This has come into force since their last ban in 2021, where the country banned the use of plastic straws, cutlery, containers and polystyrene takeaway boxes.

The Benefits Of This Ban

France has shown huge initiative and leadership for other countries to follow with their approach to the growing plastic waste issue. If every country followed their footsteps we could see a monumental cut in the amount of plastic being produced and limit pollution to the planet when left in landfills and in production. Plastic takes around 10-100 years to degrade in landfills. Here, it emits harmful toxins both into the atmosphere and the soils below. Whilst in 2019, the production of plastics added more than 850 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This is why limiting single-use plastics and promoting plastic recycling is vital to sustainability going forward.