A few months ago, we wrote about France’s ambitious plan to phase out single-use plastic packaging. On January 1st, that ban went into effect, paving the way for more sustainable and ethical consumption habits among its citizens.
As part of the ban, about 30 varieties of fruit and vegetables, including cucumbers, lemons, and oranges, will be prohibited from being wrapped in plastic packaging. President Emmanuel Macron called the ban “a real revolution” and said that the legislation reflects the country’s commitment to phase out environmentally harmful single-use plastics by 2040.
Currently, it is estimated that more than 33 percent of supermarket produce in France is wrapped in plastic packaging. Government officials believe that the ban could prevent billions of single-use plastic items from ending up in incinerators, landfills, or the environment.
Announcing the new law, France’s Environment Ministry stated that the country uses an “outrageous amount” of single-use plastics and that the new ban “aims to “aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging.”
As noted by the BBC, the ban is part of a multi-year program introduced by the government that will see the gradual reduction of plastic across different industries. In 2021, the country phased out plastic straws, cups, cutlery, and polystyrene takeaway containers. And later in 2022, public spaces will be required to provide water fountains to reduce the use of plastic bottles.