They must be replaced by ones made of 50% biologically-sourced materials, biodegradable and home-compostable
France becomes the first country in the world to ban disposable plastic cups and plates, in an effort to make a more effective contribution to tackling climate change. This measure follows the country’s decision to prohibit the use of plastic bags last July. According to the new law, which will go into effect in January of 2020, all single-use plastic cups, plates and cutlery must then be made of bio-sourced materials that can be composted in a domestic composting unit. Every second, 150 single-use cups are thrown away in the country -- 4.73 billion per year, according to the French Association of Health and Environment, ASEF. Only 1% of them are recycled, largely because they are made of a mixture of polypropylene and polystyrene.
It seems that Paris is determined to be in the forefront of environmental progress, however the critics argue that the new law violates European Union rules on free movement of goods. The Brussels-based organization Pack2Go Europe, which represents European packaging manufacturers, says it will keep fighting it. ‘We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law. And if they don't, we will’, says Eamonn Bates, Pack2Go Europe secretary general. He argues that there is no proof that bio-sourced disposable cutlery is more environmentally beneficial, and that no products made from bio-sourced plastics will degrade in a domestic composting unit.