To the dismay of the sector’s packaging industry, a prohibition on the use of plastic in the packaging of a variety of fruits and vegetables came into effect in France.
The ban came into force on Saturday as part of new laws put in place by French President Emmanuel Macron’s government to phase out single-use plastics as global pollution increases.
According to the new guidelines, leeks and carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, apples and pears, and roughly 30 other things are no longer allowed to be sold in plastic. They should be wrapped in recyclable materials instead.
Plastic will be allowed for more delicate fruits like berries and peaches, but it will be phased out over the next few years.
Food restaurants will no longer be able to give away free plastic toys to kids, while magazines and other publications will have to be distributed without plastic wrapping.
Water fountains will be installed in public places later this year to limit the usage of plastic bottles. The new regulations will eliminate nearly 1 billion pounds of plastic garbage each year, according to the government.
Meanwhile, a French journalist and writer Anne-Elisabeth Moutet said, “the new guidelines have elicited conflicting reactions.”
She said, “it’s a little schizophrenic because, on the one hand, the French are acutely conscious of the need to lessen their reliance on plastic. There is widespread agreement that using less plastic is a good idea. At the same time, when you buy veggies yourself, you notice that nothing has been done to come up with novel ways of wrapping the food to keep it from degrading too quickly.”
“The other point is that this occurs throughout COVID’s reign. “Quite frankly, many were just relieved not to have strangers pawing their vegetables, testing them, smelling them, and deciding whether or not to buy them,” she added. “People aren’t sure how to handle it.” There are several benefits and drawbacks to this.”