French MPs vote to ban all single-use plastic by 2040
The French National Assembly has voted to ban all disposable plastics by 2040, but critics argue the measures could be enforced much sooner.
In a move that makes it compliant with the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, the French Parliament’s lower chamber has passed a law to ban all single-use plastic products and packaging after 2040.
The proposed ban – which still needs to be definitively adopted by the French parliament – targets the use of single-use plastic items like food containers and bottles.
The ban is an amendment to France’s anti-waste law and targets “all food packaging, bottles and everything in our cupboards to do with domestic and industrial consumption,” said Laurence Maillart-Méhaignerie, a lawmaker with President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move party, behind the measure.
The legislation makes France compliant with the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive adopted a year ago that banned a range of items — from cotton buds to balloon sticks, straws and plates — from 2021. Under the directive, member countries also have to collect 77 per cent of their plastic bottles by 2025 and 90 per cent by 2029. In addition, by 2030, all new bottles will have to include 30 per cent of recycled plastics, with an intermediate target of 25 per cent by 2025.
The final text of France’s proposed law says that municipalities that wish to include plastic bottles in the deposit-return scheme can do so if they wish, but mandatory inclusion of plastic bottles will happen in 2023 only if local governments are falling short of their collection targets.
Critics of the legislation are saying that the ban takes too long to come into effect. “We cannot wait until 2040 to ban plastic bags, bottles or other disposable plastics in public administrations and at events,” the World Wildlife Fund said in a press release.
French lawmakers from the Parliament’s two chambers are expected to come to agreement on the final version of the law in January.