By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory
All of us knew that the plastic battle cannot be won unless governments and corporations tie up and fight against it. There have been many companies that are slowly taking the Greenway. And governments have also begun ways to ban or stop the use of non-recycled plastics. This time, it is France’s turn.
France will be introducing a new kind of penalty system this year, or at least, it is in the plans. This plan was set last year and it wanted to increase the cost of any consumer goods that are using non-recycled plastics. The plan is to make recycled plastic be used all over the country by 2025, as per an environment ministry.
The secretary of the state working for ecological transition, Brune Poirson, claimed that this movement is one of the many planned implementations that will take place all over the country. There might even be a deposit-refund scheme for the use of plastic bottles.
However, just declaring the war on plastic products cannot be all – the economy of France should undergo a change too. As per the new plan, the products which use recycled plastic for packaging will have a 10% less cost and products which use non-recycled plastic will be costing 10% more. Consumers will be given a choice and, of course, less priced products will be more popular.
Emmanuel Guichard, who is part of the Elipso federation of plastic packaging makers, gives this plan a welcome but with caution. According to him, this plan can be implemented on bottles but there are certain products which do not have the recycled plastic advantage. For example, yoghurt pots. As per Flore Berlingen, who works for the association Zero Waste France, this new measure might penalise consumers, but it is necessary to see if companies tag along and try to make necessary changes within themselves.
The government is also trying to increase the taxes of maintaining landfills which bury trash while lowering taxes on recycling operations which try to find ways to stop plastic seepage to marine bodies.
Consumers are becoming more aware of the plastic menace and France has recently been one of the few countries where customers attacked plastic by dumping their packages outside stores. According to Poirson, the higher costs of non-recycled plastic packages will naturally lower its demand.
As of now, France recycles about 25% of all its plastic. Single-use plastic is already outlawed unless proper composting methods are used. The Carrefour and Leclerc supermarket chains also have plans to stop the sale of plastic straws. By 2020, there might be a law which outlaws it.
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As of now, the European Commission is trying hard to tamp down on plastic and has issues rules to find alternatives. Packaging has been one of the reasons why plastic production got a boost in the past decade by about 40%.
It’s clear we need to stop it. Thankfully, the government are with us.