French policy can be summarised as follow: get rid of the unnecessary, recycle the rest and an empty bottle should never be considered as waste. The pledge is to recycle 100% of plastics by 2025.
President Macron promised during election time to recycle 100% of plastics by 2025. Current recycling rates are around 20% and France is probably the worse country in Western Europe when it comes to recycling.
Here are the proposed measured.
TAX on Consumer Goods
France is planning to introduce a penalty system in 2019 to increase the cost of consumer goods using non-recycled plastic packaging. The penalty could go up to 10 % of the price of the article. Recycled plastic packaging alternatives, if available, should always be cheaper than the non-recycled plastic packaging.
Deposit System on Plastic Bottles
- No concrete date for starting the deposit system.
- Some regions are currently doing a better job than others when it comes to collecting and recycling plastic bottles.
- The Government is in favour of a transition period to avoid hurting the small systems in place and the regions that are doing well.
- Pilot projects will be tested in a few cities during the transition period: a solidarity or humanitarian fee will be levied on bottles. When you bring in a bottle, money will be given to a humanitarian cause.
- The VAT rate on recycling operations will be reduced.
- Taxes on landfill will be increased.
- The collection system will be simplified: uniform colours for waste bags will be introduced.
- A label should be issued by 2020 to indicate whether the packaging is made from recycled plastic or whether it’s recyclable.
Ban on Single Use Products
- The complete list of banned products will be issued in the beginning of 2019.
- We already know that plastic straws, cocktail sticks, plates and cups will be banned.
French Plastic Federation seems to be OK with the government plans and the penalty system.
- French plastic waste debate is a bit like taking the aperitif with Miss France.
- No mention of bioplastics, biobased and biodegradable plastics. This is a missed opportunity.
- The impression may arise that there’s a mix up between plastic packaging, plastic food packaging and plastic objects.
- A humanitarian fee on plastic bottles as a test pilot? Why not solve world conflicts or bring world peace?
- Nicolas Hulot, French minister of ecological transition, used to be a French TV presenter and a bit of an idealist.
- 100% plastic recycling by 2025 … read my lips … is impossible. Claiming these numbers is a very good joke.
- Do you think there might be a French plastic waste fiasco in the making ?