France Totally Bans Use Of Plastic Plates, Utensils And Cups, First Country To Do So
A new law has been passed in France that bans the use of plastic plates, utensils and cups starting 2020. The law stated that these items should be replaced by environmentally friendly materials that can be used as compost.
The new law is part of France's "Energy Transition for Green Growth Act". Initial implementation included the total ban on plastic shopping bags in July. Officials and advocates aim to make France a globe leader in promoting and adopting environmentally safe practices to reduce production and release of greenhouse gases.
Just in 2015 alone, there were 4.73 billion plastic goblets thrown away in France and they estimate more than 17 billion plastic bags used each year in supermarkets across the country. The law aims to end France's dependence of disposable plastics. Based on this new law, disposable plastic bags have been banned on all supermarkets as of July 2016. And it will be completely prohibited to use disposable plastic bags in fruits and vegetables starting 2017.
Other plastic items like disposable cooking utensils, plates, cups will be banned by 2020 just to give enough time for manufacturers to adjust with the new law. Local ministers believe that 50 percent of materials used to make biodegradable materials will be composed of organic, and compost. And by 2025, they expect the materials' ratio to rise up to 60 percent.
Conservation groups are happy to hear that the law has been passed already because studies have shown that there would be more plastic swimming in the oceans than fishes by 2050. This kind of action from France is what Earth needs in response to the problem of global warming and increasing world population.
However, some are not pleased to have the law. According to a report from the Associated Press, a Brussels-based organization comprised of European packing manufacturers will be against and will do everything to fight the law since it steps on their right as manufacturers. Pack2Go Europe urges the European Commission to take legal action against France for violating the European law. They even said, "If they don't, we will."
They claim that the ban will just make France's garbage problem worse because consumers might have the idea that it is okay to throw biodegradable packaging after use. This assumption is a bit vague since speakers are actually pro the use of plastics. But the real issue could be in violating their rights as manufacturers.
"Makers say the new products will be more expensive than existing ranges, prompting analysts to bet on a return of the traditional hamper with reusable crockery," as reported by The Australian. Biodegradable packaging is more difficult to produce than plastics, and scientists will still need to figure out how to contain hot food and beverage.
Furthermore, recent reports stated that there lacks proof to show that biodegradable materials are actually compostable will not be like the regular plastics. This may be drastic measures but humans are desperate to stop the issues that may destroy the planet sooner.