The law, which came into force on 1 January 2022, is part of the French anti-waste law for a circular economy, also known as the AGEC law, which aims to reduce plastic consumption and encourage reuse and recycling.
The ban, initially announced in October of last year, will impact the packaging of approximately 30 fruit and vegetables including, among others, leeks, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, bananas, apples, pears and plums.
According to the French Environment Ministry, 37% of fruit and vegetables sold in the country feature plastic packaging, and the new law will eliminate more than a billion pieces of plastic packaging each year.
‘We use an outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives. The circular economy law aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging,’ the ministry said in a statement.
Freshfel Europe Seeks More Time
Earlier, Freshfel Europe, a body that represents fresh produce trade across the continent, called on the European Commission to secure more time and flexibility to ensure an orderly rollout of the new French plastic packaging legislation.
President Emmanuel Macron described the ban as "a real revolution" and added that it showed the country's commitment to phase out single-use plastics by 2040, according to a BBC report.
The ministry also aims to remove plastic packaging from all fruit and vegetables by 2026.
The law provides a timetable for finding and deploying alternative solutions by 30 June 2026, for fruit and vegetables that present a significant risk of deterioration when sold in bulk, the ministry added.
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more Packaging news, click here. Click to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.