Following France's single use plastic ban, paper straws are becoming a common sight at 'apéros' (parties) across Paris.

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 explores France's single use plastic ban and the government's efforts to reduce plastic waste across the country. 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.

Don't be tempted by colorful plastic cups like those arranged in a pyramid here (left) and forget the common plastic cup (right) as France's plastic ban on single-use plastics comes into play. Lidya 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.

The waste after market days in Paris - HiP Paris Blog covers France's plastic ban which aims to reduce single-use plastic waste, linked to climate change and other environmental threats. 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 plastic means you should be getting a paper straw like these stripy blue and white ones or no straw at all in your cocktails in Paris and across the country from now on.Danielle 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 explores France's plastic ban on cups, straws and all single use plastic to reduce waste which applies to everyone, because as the graffiti reads on the wall here next to the large green bins, 'we are all human'.Vincent 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!


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.


  1. 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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