FRANCE TAKES AN ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY STEP FORWARD



Legislation vetoing the use of plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables come into operation in France on New Year’s Day, to quit what the government has named the “aberration” of over packed carrots, apples and bananas, as environmental advocates and pestered shoppers to persuade other countries to do the same.

Emmanuel Macron has called the prohibition on plastic wrapping of fresh goods “a real revolution” and claimed that France was taking the forefront globally with its legislation to deliberately weed out all single-use plastics by 2040.



From New Year’s Day, France will prohibit supermarkets and other shops from bartering cucumbers rolled in plastic, and peppers, courgettes, aubergines and leeks in plastic wrapping. A tally of 30 types of fruit and vegetables will be prohibited from having any plastic wrapping, comprising bananas, pears, lemons, oranges and kiwis. In a statement declaring the new legislation, the Environment Ministry asserted that France wields an "outrageous amount" of single-use plastics and that the new outlawing "aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and stimulating its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging". The prohibition forms part of a multi-year agenda initiated by Mr Macron's government that will discover plastics gradually pull out in many industries. And later in 2022 public areas will be impelled to give water fountains to curtail the use of plastic bottles, journals will have to be exported without plastic wrapping, and fast-food diners will no longer be competent to offer free plastic playthings. The government explains the new regulation is anticipated to exclude about 1 billion items of plastic trash a year.




MIXED REACTIONS

France’s packaging enterprise meanwhile said it was confused by the new regulations, especially a prohibition on the use of recycled plastics.

“We were never consulted,” grumbled Laurent Grandin, chair of the fruit and vegetable sector’s Internet organization. He said to the AFP news agency that the prices were “insurmountable” for small firms who would have to keep welding plastic to safeguard exports, notably to the United Kingdom, a primary consumer for French apples.

On the other hand, Fruit and vegetables rolled in layers of plastic have annoyed buyers not only in France but neighbouring countries. Approximately three-quarters of British people have undergone “anxiety, distress or hopelessness” at the amount of plastic that shows up with their shopping and 59% feel that supermarkets and brands are not doing adequate to offer refillable, durable or packaging-free products, according to a poll charged by Friends of the Earth and City to Sea in June.



A poll for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) France in 2019 found that 85% of people were in favour of outlawing single-use plastic commodities and packaging. More than 2 million people have ratified a WWF request summoning world governments to end the plastics pollution problem. In disgruntled posts on social media, customers have grumbled about what they supposed ridiculous covering such as coconuts in several layers of plastic or single bananas in individual plastic sacks.

MoïraTourneur, an advocacy supervisor at the NGO Zero Waste France, told that the French legislation was a “good and appropriate” action, although she doubted what she called the “surprising” list of spared fruit and vegetables given an extended metamorphosis time of at least another year before going plastic-free. Tourneur said: “The ban is fair and fitting … Giving more time for certain fruit and vegetables is a bit of a shame. There is a climate emergency. People are conscious of the need to act urgently on this issue.”



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