France is the first country to ban all plastic plates and cups

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Critics claim the new law violates European Union rules on free movement of goods


France has passed a new law to ensure all plastic cups, cutlery and plates can be composted and are made of biologically-sourced materials.

The law, which comes into effect in 2020, is part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth – an ambitious plan that aims to allow France to make a more effective contribution to tackling climate change.

Although some ecologists’ organisations are in favour of the ban, others argue that it has violated European Union rules on free movement of goods.

Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels-based organization representing European packaging manufacturers, says it will keep fighting the new law and hopes it doesn’t spread to the rest of the continent.

“We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law,” Pack2go Europe secretary general Eamonn Bates told The Associated Press. “If they don’t, we will.”

Mr Bates believes there is no proof the biologically-sourced materials are more environmentally beneficial and that the ban might make the situation worse as people may misunderstand the extent of degradability.

“[The ban will] be understood by consumers to mean that it is OK to leave this packaging behind in the countryside after use because it’s easily bio-degradable in nature. That’s nonsense! It may even make the litter problem worse,” he said.

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Say goodbye to plastic plates in France.

The country is the first to ban all plastic cups, plates and silverware in a law that will take full effect in 2020. The measure was passed last month, but businesses have until 2020 to fully comply, according to the Associated Press.

All disposable dishes in France will instead have to be made from biologically sourced materials. The products must be able to be composted.

France banned plastic bags in July, a move other countries have also made, but France is the first to extend these types of bans to plastic cutlery and dishes.

France has been a leader on climate change and hosted the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015.

The country’s newest ban has attracted criticism from packaging industry lobbyists, who say that the ban violates European Union rules on the free movement of goods, the AP says.

The proposal was first introduced by the Europe Ecologie-Greens Party.

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