On September 1, 2016 the French government ruled to ban disposable plastic plates, cutlery, and cups: By the year 2020 at least 50% of the material used to produce such articles will have to be from renewable sources and by 2025, this proportion should rise to 60%. According to a news article published on September 13, 2016 by the news provider The Local France, more than 4.73 billion plastic cups are disposed per year and only 1% of these cups are recycled in France. Besides the negative impact on the environment, the article also lists concerns about chemical migration from cups, especially into hot drinks, as additional reason for the new rule.
On September 14, 2016 reporter Amanda McCormack from the news provider Plastic News Europe published an article opening up another perspective on this topic. Critics list constraints on the free movement of goods, infringement of EU legislation, and misleading of the consumers as drawbacks of the new rule, McCormack summarizes. According to the convenience packaging association Pack2Go Europe, consumers may think “that bioplastic tableware can be left behind as litter because they wrongly believe it will quickly disappear.”
This new rule adds to the French ban of single-use plastic bags smaller than 10 liters and thinner than 50 µm that entered into force on July 1, 2016.
The Local France (September 13, 2016). “Plastic cups ban to hit picnics and kids’ parties in France.”
Amanda McCormack (September 14, 2016). “France bans disposable plastic tableware.” Plastic News Europe
The Local France (July 1, 2016). “What you need to know about France’s ban on plastic bags.”
The Associated Press (September 12, 2016). “France to bid adieu to plastic dishes with controversial ban.” The New York Times
Kristin Falzon (September 16, 2016). “France becomes first country to ban plastic silverware, plates and cups.” EcoWatch