France Just Became the First Country to Ban Plasticware
Say goodbye to plasticware in France. The country just became the first in the world to ban all plastic cups, cutlery, and plates.
The new law will go into effect in 2020 and producers will have until that date to ensure that all disposable, single-use items sold in France are biodegradable and can be composted at home. This follows a ban on plastic bags which has been in place since July.
According to the Associated Press, ecologists wanted the ban to be introduced as soon as 2017, but Environment Minister Segolene Royal deemed it an "anti-social" measure, arguing that families struggling financially make regular use of disposable plastic tableware.
Nevertheless, we're glad France has taken action, especially considering that one hundred and fifty single-use cups are thrown away every second in France – 4.73 billion per year, according to the French Association of Health and Environment.
Leaders on Climate Change
France also hosted the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015 where 180 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally-binding global climate deal.
The Paris Agreement highlights the urgent need to cut global emissions to limit some of the worst impacts of climate change. One of the main goals outlined in the agreement is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” To reach this long-term goal, countries who signed the agreement will have to “recognize the importance of the conservation and enhancement, as appropriate, of sinks and reservoirs of the greenhouse gases.”
China and the United States of America are two of the most recent countries to ratify the agreement, which has been dubbed by some as a “breakthrough.” The full updated list of country participants can be found here.
It's clear that France is a leader on climate change. Let's just hope other countries are as enthusiastic about banning plasticware as they have been about climate change.