The current project
The French government is planning to set penalties on non-recycled plastic in 2019. The country is planning to start using only recycled plastic by 2025. Thus, the penalty system is related with raising the expenses for consumer goods that come in packages which are made of non-recycled plastic.
The new regulation introduces the law system which is based on 10% lower costs for products that contain recycled plastic, opposed to products with non-recycled material which will cost 10% more. The French government is expecting that higher non-recycled plastic expenses will help eliminating the excessive packaging.
This change is to improve the environmental state and is one of the few that are going to be carried out in the following years. The next step concentrates on implementing the deposit-refund scheme for plastic bottles all over France.
The decision is strengthened by Brune Poirson, secretary of state for ecological transition, who claims that “Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy.”
The government is also considering to increase taxes on burying trash in landfills and accordingly decrease costs of recycling operations. France is hoping that these projects will help to diminish the marine pollution issue.
The current situation
The fact is that France can’t be very proud about their recycling situation: less than 25% of plastic packaging is recycled, while the rest is incinerated or put in landfills. That’s lower than in other European countries, where over 30% of plastic waste is recycled on average. So, these projects are based on the need of improvement rather than a natural solution to change for the better.
It is already forbidden to use single-use plastic bags in French supermarkets, an exception exists for composted ones.
In addition, the supermarket giants such as Carrefour and Leclerc are going to remove all plastic straws from their shelves in the coming months. It’s because of the law that will forbid selling them by 2020.
Speaking about the global situation of plastic, its production (and a main use in packaging) has grown more than 40% in the last 10 years.