Plastic Bans Politics & Legislation Waste Management

France Issues its Plastic Policy

French Government has issued its action plan and objectives to tackle the plastic problem. We quote: France is declaring war to plastics.

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.

Recycling Measures

  • 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.

Plastic Federation

French Plastic Federation seems to be OK with the government plans and the penalty system.