If you’re eco-conscious, you’re probably avoiding buying single use plastics. However, plastic items such as straws, drinking bottles, and food wrappers can sometimes be unavoidable in places such as restaurants and supermarkets. That’s why many countries around the world are deciding to ban or restrict the use of single use plastic altogether, taking the choice out of consumers’ hands. One country to do so is France, who recently launched its plan to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2040.
The ambitious plan is part of a larger EU-wide decision to ban many single-use plastic items by 2021. In France, phase one began on January 1, 2020, with the government already banning the use of 3 common single-use plastic products: plates, cups, and cotton buds. Next year, items including disposable cutlery, plastic takeout lids, confetti, drink stirrers, foam containers, plastic straws, and produce packaging will all be forbidden. Vendors will legally have to allow customers to use their own containers, and there will even be penalties for those who use excessive plastic packaging.
By 2022, the French public will no longer have the option to buy plastic tea bags, fast food toys, or disposable dishes in restaurants. And if you’re wondering how the government plans to avoid plastic bottles, water fountains will become mandatory in public buildings. As global plastic production continues to surge, let’s hope France sets an example for other countries to follow suit in a bid to save our planet.
France began phasing out common single-use plastic items on January 1, 2020—and the nation plans to completely eliminate them by 2040.