According to the Associated Press, France just became the first country to ban all plastic plates, cups, and utensils.
The new law, which took effect last month, gives manufacturers until 2020 to ensure that all disposable eating/drinking accessories sold in France are made of “biologically sourced” materials and can be composted. The measure follows a ban on plastic bags that’s been in effect since July.
While ecologists’ organizations lauded the French law and hope it sets an example for other countries, opponents argue that product bans hurt consumers, and that the French measures violate European Union rules on free movement of goods.
But the ban isn’t welcome news to everyone. Pack2Go Europe represents packaging companies and they say they’re going to fight the ban.
“We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law,” Pack2Go Europe secretary general Eamonn Bates told the AP. “If they don’t, we will.”
The ban was initially proposed by the Europe Ecologie-Greens Party and was adopted by French lawmakers with the aim of reducing the energy consumed and waste produced by the plastic processing industry, as well as the pollution caused by plastic litter.
The measures will ban sales of single-use plastic cups, plates and glasses unless they are made of bio-sourced materials that can be composted in a domestic composting unit.
Aside from arguing that there is no proof that bio-sourced disposable cutlery is better for the environment, Bates asserted that the ban will result in consumers leaving packaging behind “in the countryside after use because it’s easily bio-degradable in nature. That’s nonsense! It may even make the litter problem worse.”
Featured image: Techno Crazed