France: Plastic packaging banned for fruits, veggies

i24NEWS

4 min read
Peppers wrapped in plastic package are on display at a grocery stall in Paris, France, December 31, 2021.
AP Photo/Thibault CamusPeppers wrapped in plastic package are on display at a grocery stall in Paris, France, December 31, 2021.

France plans to phase out all single-use plastics by 2040

A ban on plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables was implemented in France on Saturday, to end what the government calls an “aberration” of over-wrapped produce.

French President Emmanual Macron called the ban “a real revolution” in the country’s latest step to gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040. 

Environmental campaigners urge other countries to follow suit, linking unnecessary plastic packaging to environmental damage and sea pollution, The Guardian reported.

Spain will reportedly introduce a similar ban starting in 2023.

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From Saturday, France banned all supermarkets and other shops from selling 30 types of fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic packaging, including bananas, lemons, cucumbers, and peppers.

Packs over 3.3 pounds will be exempt, however, as well as chopped or processed fruit. 

According to The Guardian, an estimated 37 percent of fruits and vegetables were sold in plastic packaging in France in 2021, which the Environment Ministry regards as an “outrageous amount of single-use plastic.”

The government believes the ban will cut more than 1 billion items from single-use plastic packaging each year. 

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According to a 2019 poll by the Institute of French Public Opinion for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 85 percent of people in France were in favor of banning single-use plastic products and packaging.

More than two million people also signed a WWF petition that called on the international community to stop exacerbating the pollution crisis with plastic.

Moïra Tourneur, an advocacy manager at the NGO Zero Waste France, called the ban “fair and fitting,” The Guardian reported.

“There is a climate emergency. People are conscious of the need to act urgently on this issue,” she added.