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October 12, 2021

France to ban plastic packaging for most fruits and vegetables

Plastic straws, cups, cutlery and styrofoam takeaway boxes are also banned in the country as of this year.

The Government of France is reportedly planning to implement a ban on plastic packaging for almost all fruits and vegetables.

The legislation, drafted last February and due to be imposed from 1 January, will apply to around 30 fruits and vegetables in addition to other items.

According to a list published by the government, the ban covers packaging for leeks, aubergines, round tomatoes, apples, bananas and oranges.

Cut fruits and some vegetables and delicate fruits, including raspberries and strawberries, will be excluded from the ban until the end of June 2026.

Cherry tomatoes, green beans and peaches will not be packed in plastic packaging by the end of June 2023, while endives, asparagus, mushrooms, cherries and some salads and herbs can be sold with plastic packaging until the end of 2024.

The law also aims to reduce the use of plastic bottles by requiring public spaces to provide water fountains.

In addition, newspapers and publicity publications will need to be sold without plastic wrapping, while fast-food restaurants will be prohibited from offering free plastic toys with meals.

The move is part of a multi-year government programme to phase out plastic use in France.

This year, the government has banned the use of plastic straws, cups and cutlery, as well as styrofoam takeaway boxes.

In a statement, the Environment Ministry said: “We use an outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives.

“The circular economy law aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging.”

In July, the European Union implemented a ban on certain single-use plastic items across its 27 member states.

The ban covers cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, sticks for party balloons, food and drink containers made from expanded polystyrene, and products made from oxo-degradable plastic.

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