Finally we have some good news for all environmentalists and earth-lovers, all people who care about our planet and health overall – France has become the first country to ban the use of plastic plates, cups and cutlery altogether.
The French have made the first revolutionary step towards the elimination of every plastic cup, plate, spoon, fork and food container and it’s a move we open-heartedly welcome. The only exceptions to this ban are kitchenware items made of biodegradable or compost-material plastic, which is again completely understandable.
This is a part of the new Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, the latest law which also forbids the use of plastic bags in departments and grocery stores. Even though the US and some other countries have already banned the use of plastic bags, France has made a step further, outlawing everything made of plastic.
The law-makers behind this policy said that this law comes as a result of last year’s conference held in Paris on the topic of curbing global warming and enabling a recycled economy, from product design to waste disposal to recycling and repeat.
The first reason for this law is the most obvious one – plastic is the number one pollutant of the environment and is threatening both plant and animal life. Since it’s not biodegradable it turns into smaller particles which pollute the entire earth, especially the oceans. This threatens the wildlife as well since the animals don’t know plastic is not for consumption resulting in eminent danger and even death of millions of poor creatures.
Furthermore oil is used by the gallon annually for the production of these plastic utensils, bags and everything else and according to environmental experts plays a major role in climate change.
After the announcement of the new policy, the French President François Hollande said that this is just the first step towards making France a global role-model which will be followed by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of new sustainable energy models from renewable sources. The first step to the plastic ban would be the usage and distribution of plastic cutlery in fast-food places including beverage cups from vending machines.
Despite everything, there are still some that disapprove of this move, like Brussels, and sees the new ban as a contradiction to the EU’s free movement of goods policy and a violation of the manufacturers’ rights.
Among those who frown at the law is Eamonn Bates, the secretary general of Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels based company. He announced that he will challenge France’s plastic ban based on infringement of the European Commission laws and will be representing those in favor of using plastic utensils in Europe.
On the other hand, those who welcome the law want to see it come to France even sooner, by 2017 if possible. But the French Environment Minister, Ségolène Royal, announced that it’s not possible for the law to come into effect so soon because it will cause great damage to those in the low-income group of the society who depend on plastic utensil usage.
She added that the ban will come into effect by 2020.
We hope that France will not be alone in this move and that many others will follow by example, because France’s movement alone will not do much if we take into account the fast rate at which our planet is deteriorating. Let’s hope that by 2020 it won’t be too little, too late.