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France Becomes First Country To Ban Plastic Cups And Plates

France currently throws away more than 4.7 billion plastic cups every year.

20/09/2016 5:45 PM IST | Updated 20/09/2016 6:37 PM IST
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With the passage of a new law, which is aimed at combating climate change, France has become the first country in the world to completely ban disposable plastic cups, plates and other utensils.

The law will come into force in 2020 by which time all disposable dishes sold in France will have to be made of biologically sourced materials that can be composted, The Associated Press reported.

France currently throws away more than 4.7 billion plastic cups every year, only 1 percent of which are recycled, The Christian Science Monitor said, citing Les Echos newspaper.

While environmentalists are thrilled at ban, European leading food-packaging manufacturers say that the measures violate European Union laws on the free movement of goods, CNN reported. Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels-based organisation representing European packaging manufacturers, is asking the European Commission to take action against France.

Eamonn Bates, the secretary general of Pack2Go Europe, has said that there is no proof that bio-sourced utensils are any safer. "My members are not against bio plastics or new products. But the industry does oppose them being imposed for certain applications especially when the life-cycle analysis shows that there is no environmental basis for doing so," he said.

Earlier this year, France had banned plastic bags. Several countries including Bangladesh, China, South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco as well as some states in the United States have either banned very thin plastic bans or banned plastic bags entirely.

More than four billion plastic bags are thrown away each year.

Earlier this year, Karnataka became the first state in India to ban all plastic products.

The notification reads: "No shopkeeper, vendor, wholesale dealer, retailer, trader, hawker or salesman shall use plastic carry bags, plastic banners, plastic buntings, flex, plastic flags, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic spoons, cling films and plastic sheets for spreading on dinning table irrespective of thickness including the above items made of thermacol and plastic which use plastic micro beeds."

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