In an effort to combat the worldwide plastic crisis, the French government has issued new regulations limiting the use of single-use plastic in the country.
Plastic is now banned as packaging for selling leeks, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, apples, pears, and 30 other food items. Recyclable materials must be used in their place.
Despite this, plastic will still be permitted for delicate fruits like berries and peaches, but will be gradually taken out over the next few years.
Fast-food chains will no longer be able to give away free plastic toys to kids, and publications like magazines should be delivered without plastic wrapping.
This year, water fountains will also be installed in public spaces in France to minimize the use of plastic bottles.
With this initiative, the government is expecting to eliminate nearly one billion plastic waste per year.
The public, on the other hand, has divided sentiments about the new rules.
Some see the benefits that come with it, particularly to cardboard producers. Many, however, regard it as a threat to the packaging sector, as well as small business owners.
The head of the fruit and vegetable sector’s Interfel association argued that the charges will be unreasonably expensive for small enterprises that still have to use plastic to safeguard their exports to countries such as the United Kingdom, a key buyer of French apples.
A director of industrial markets in a packaging firm, on the other hand, said that roughly 1.5 million tonnes of plastic will be avoided annually, which may be a significant reduction in Europe’s overall plastic waste, which is estimated to be around eight million tonnes.