France has definitely proven itself as the most progressive country in the world in recent years. First, the country decided to make food wasting illegal at grocery stores, then followed it up by recognizing dogs as sentient beings. Paris was also the first city in the world to hold a car-free day in order to raise awareness of climate changes and reduce toxic emissions.
And with a recently proposed law, France has outdone itself. A few months ago, the French government decided to ban plastic cups, plates and cutlery in an effort to protect the environment, which is something we should all strive for.
The producers can still make cups, plates and cutlery from biodegradable materials, but not plastic. The law should go into full effect from 2020, and it’s a part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth initiative which is trying to fight climate change.
And, while environmentalists are ecstatic over the law, others are not so happy. Many plastic companies argue that the ban violates the European Union’s right of free goods movement. They plan on fighting the law, and are pretty hopeful they’ll defeat it.
According to statistics, France’s recycling rate is not unlike the USA, which is why the government decided on this drastic measure. However, Eamon Bates, secretary general of the Pack2Go packing company doesn’t think that degradable materials are better. Additionally, he says that the ban will make matters worse, as people often misinterpret the degradability.
“It will only make people leave their cups and plates away in the countryside after a picnic as they think they’re biodegradable. This will lead to incredible amounts of litter which will surely harm the environment,” Bates said.
However, experts that favor the law say that the reduction in plastic will definitely help the environment and fight climate change. Every year, we throw out enough plastic to wrap the globe 4 times, which needs a lot of time to decompose. Furthermore, plastic is polluting the oceans as well and causing irreparable damage to the sea flora and fauna, and even the deepest points such as the Mariana trench are not safe from it.