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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

20 September 2016

France ban plastic plates and cutlery

France is now the first country to have passed a law to ban plastic plates, cups and utensils.

Compostable and bio-sourced materials will remain allowed, and the law will take effect in 2020.

The new legislation follows the one that banned plastic bags in grocery stores last July, and both are part of France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act.

The country – following last year’s COP21 which was held in Paris – wants to promote circular economy of waste disposal, in order to encourage recycling.

Plastic is a significant problem as it is not biodegradable and poses a huge threat to wildlife, particularly in oceans.

Plastic production also uses millions of barrels of oil each year.

Out of 4.73 billion plastic cups thrown away every year in France, only 1 per cent are recycled.

French President, François Hollande, said:  the goal is "to make France ... an exemplary nation in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diversifying its energy model and increasing the deployment of renewable energy sources."

Some argued against France’s green policy, saying it violates existing European Union legislation regarding the free movement of goods and the protection of manufacturers.

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