France eyes non-recycled plastic penalty

AFP
France plans to introduce a penalty system that would increase the costs of consumer goods with packaging made of non-recycled plastic.
AFP

France plans to introduce a penalty system that would increase the costs of consumer goods with packaging made of non-recycled plastic, part of a pledge to use only recycled plastic nationwide by 2025, an environment ministry official said on Sunday.

Brune Poirson, secretary of state for ecological transition, said the move was one of several to be implemented in coming years, including a deposit-refund scheme for plastic bottles.

“Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy,” she told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Under the new plan, products with recycled plastic packaging could cost up to 10 percent less, while those containing non-recycled plastic up to 10 percent more, Poirson said.

The government also aims to increase taxes on burying trash in landfills while cutting taxes for recycling operations, hoping to address the growing problem of tons of plastic finding its way into oceans.

In a sign of growing public awareness of the problem, France is among several countries hit recently by a wave of “plastic attacks” — where shoppers dump all the packaging of their purchases outside stores.

“When non-recycled plastic will cost more, that will eliminate much of the excessive packaging,” Poirson said.

France currently recycles around 25 percent of its plastic, according to the magazine 60 Million Consumers.

It has already outlawed single-use plastic bags in supermarkets unless they can be composted, hoping to encourage people to shop with their own bags.

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