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France to phase out single-use plastics starting today

Christian Fernsby |
Starting January 1, three single-use plastic products will be banned in France: plates, cups, and cotton buds.

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More will be banned next year, marking the first steps toward the government’s goal of phasing out all single-use plastics by 2040.

They’re used just once, but stay in the environment for hundreds of years. Now France is taking first steps towards banning single-use plastics, starting with three products: plates, cups, and cotton buds. Plastic straws and cutlery will follow on January 1, 2021.

It defines single-use plastics as those not designed to be reused “for a use identical to that for which it was intended”.

Shops that carry the banned products will be allowed to continue selling them for six months after January 1, provided they were produced or imported beforehand.

The decree includes a temporary exemption for compostable products containing at least 50 percent of organic materials, as well as for cutlery used in health and corrections facilities and on transport such as trains and airplanes. The exemptions will expire in July 2021.

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