Plastic Utensils

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France Institutes Ban on Plastic Cups, Plates, and Utensils

Eco-groups are supportive; manufacturing groups, not so much

France has passed a law banning “plastic crockery and cutlery… unless it is made from biologically-sourced materials,” The Telegraph reported.

The new law, which is part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth, a French environmental initiative, will come into full effect in 2020.

Though ecologist organizations are in favor of the ban, others argue the new law violates European Union rules on “free movement of goods,” Independent reported. Namely, Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels-based organization that represents European packaging manufacturers, is fighting against the law.

“We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law,” said Eamonn Bates, Pack2Go Europe’s secretary general. “If they don't, we will.”

Bates said there was no proof that biologically sourced materials are any more eco-friendly, and people might take the biodegradable materials as permission to be more lax about littering.

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“[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,” Bates said. “That's nonsense! It may even make the litter problem worse.”