Parisian Living

France Expands Single Use Plastic Ban for 2020

by Emily Dilling

HiP Paris Blog: France's single use plastic ban

As the environmental effects of a changing climate become harder to ignore, conscious citizens of the world are asking themselves how they can make a difference. Whether it be by altering the way we shop, eat, travel, or reduce waste in our daily lives, we can all have an impact in limiting the adverse effects of climate change. While efforts on an individual level are crucial, those that are put into effect on a national level are even more encouraging. After establishing itself as a front-runner in the quest to reduce pollution, France is now extending their plastic ban to be even more comprehensive.

HiP Paris Blog France's single use plastic ban Top image: Stephanie Mccabe. Above image: Danielle Macinnes

France first banned lightweight plastic bags, then become the first country in the world to ban plastic cups and plates in 2016. As part of its Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, France’s plastic ban will now includes straws, coffee stirrers, cotton buds, and other single-use items that use plastic in their design. The ban will take effect on January 1, 2020, though supermarket chains Carrefour and Leclerc have committed to discontinuing the sale of plastic straws in their stores well before this deadline.

HiP Paris Blog: France's plastic ban on cups, straws and all single use plasticLidya Nada / Martino Pietropoli

Why? Plastic use has been linked to climate change and other environmental threats. The amount of oil required to produce plastic bags as well as their accumulation in our oceans, which both poisons the water and leads to the death of at least 100,000 marine animals each year and over 1 million birds worldwide, are some of many arguments for going plastic free.

HiP Paris Blog covers France's plastic ban Gisle Vestergaard

Since the original plastic bag ban was put into action, a variety of non-plastic alternatives have become available to the consumer. Cornstarch-based biodegradable bags have replaced their plastic counterparts, which have a lifespan of 1,000 years. Similarly, with the extended ban on single-use plastic items, there has been a push to find compostable, organic alternatives.

HiP Paris Blog: France's plastic ban on cups, straws and all single use plasticDanielle Macinnes

Following France’s progress, the EU has voted to outlaw the sale all plastic cups, plates, cutlery, cotton buds, straws, stirrers, and balloon sticks by 2021. The EU has also committed to ensuring that all plastic packaging becomes reusable or recyclable by 2030.

HiP Paris Blog: France's plastic ban on cups, straws and all single use plasticVincent Aguerre

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Written and photographed by Emily Dilling for HiP Paris. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, Tuscany, Umbria or Liguria? Check out Haven In. Mention the code: HiPParis18 for special deals and a bottle of champagne with every booking for all HiP Paris readers!

Written By

Emily Dilling

Emily Dilling is a France based writer and author of My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes. In 2005 Emily moved to Paris from her native California and began exploring the cities markets, restaurants, and cafés. In 2010 she founded the blog Paris Paysanne, where she writes about her favorite addresses and artisans in the city. Emily currently lives in the Loir-et-Cher region of France, where she writes and works in the grapevines. View Website

One comment on “France Expands Single Use Plastic Ban for 2020

I’m very happy to hear this. Oh how I wish my country (USA) would follow suit! I do my part in recycling, reusing and limit using paper and plastic products. I’ve been using cloth napkins every day since 2008 and use cloth shopping bags as well. Cooking whole foods from home and not buying processed, factory-made food, helps keep my recycling bin half empty!

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