France Becomes First Country To Ban All Plastic Cups And Plates

by : UNILAD on : 28 Aug 2017 18:45

France is leading the way in protecting the planet by passing a new law ensuring all plastic cups, plates and cutlery are made of biologically-sourced materials.


This new law comes into effect in 2020 and is part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth – a plan designed to help France in tackling climate change.

The overall plan aims to allow the country to make a ‘more effective contribution to tackling climate change’, writes the Independent.


All disposable tableware will have to be made from 50 per cent biologically-sourced materials that can be composted at home by 2020, with that number rising to 60 per cent by January 2025.


Despite ecologist organisations being in favour of the ban, one organisation is arguing the new law has ‘violated European Union rules on free movement of goods’.

Pack2Go Europe, representing European packaging manufacturers, said it will ‘keep fighting the new law’ and hopes it doesn’t spread to the rest of the continent, according to the Independent.

Ocean Conservancy

Pack2go Europe secretary general Eamonn Bates told The Associated Press:

We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law.

If they don’t, we will.

He also believes there is ‘no proof the biologically-sourced materials are more environmentally beneficial’, according to the Independent, and said the ban might make the situation worse.


[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.


It’s widely-known plastic has a damaging effect on the world’s oceans. Yes, this is all types of plastic, not just plates, cutlery and all that, but the ban surely should help in some way.

If you’re still not convinced, listen to our dear David Attenborough talking about plastic pollution here:

In the UK this week, pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced it is to stop putting plastic straws in drinks.

It said eco-friendly paper straws will be offered in its 900 pubs by the end of the year, according to the BBC.

Simon Ellin, chief executive of the UK Recycling Association, said he believes ‘nobody would be bothered’ if bartenders stopped putting straws in drinks.

He said:

I had a pint of soda water the other day and not only did they put two straws in it but a stirrer, and I asked why they had done that – I’d imagine most people wouldn’t query it.


Mark Hall, commercial director at BusinessWaste.co.uk, told the BBC he thinks people should pay tax for their straws, similar to the 5p carrier bag charge.

He said:


Why on earth do you need a straw in your gin and tonic anyway. The industry can do something about it, but so can we as consumers – it’s easy to say ‘no straw please’.

Designer Vivienne Westwood is backing a campaign for people to refuse straws and start drinking from the glass – known as Refuse the Straw.

Struggling to find a negative behind all this.

Topics: Health


Independent and 1 other
  1. Independent

    France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery

  2. BBC

    Why plastic straws could disappear from a pub near you