France becomes first country to ban plastic cups and plates

Oct 5, 2016 12:00 IST

France has become the first country in the world to ban disposable plastic cups and plates.

The country has passed a law in September 2016 that will go into effect in January 2020. The law will require all disposable tableware to be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials that can be composted at home. That number will rise to 60% by January of 2025.

The measure is an addition to France's Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, a wide-reaching law adopted in 2015 with the aim of mitigating the impact of climate change.
In July 2016, France imposed a total ban on the distribution of lightweight plastic bags at supermarket checkouts.

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Why the ban?

As per the French Association of Health and Environment, ASEF One hundred and fifty single-use cups are thrown away every second in France, which counts to 4.73 billion per year. Only 1 percent of the cups is recycled, largely because they are made of a mixture of polypropylene and polystyrene.

About Energy Transition for Green Growth Act

France enacted its Energy Transition for Green Growth Bill on 17 August 2015 following an initial presentation at the 2012 environmental conference and nation-wide public consultation in 2013.

The Act lays out a roadmap for transforming France's energy model without hampering growth.

Six objectives set by the Act are:

i. Reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 from 1990 levels.
ii. Halve final energy consumption by 2050 from 2012 levels.
iii. Reduce fossil fuel consumption by 30% by 2030 from 2012 levels.
iv. Have renewable energies account for 32% of final energy consumption and 40% of electricity generation by 2030.
v. Halve the amount of landfilled waste by 2025.
vi. Reduce the share of nuclear power in the energy mix to 50% by 2025.

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