France is set to introduce a tax on plastic packaging that will increase the cost of products that come in unrecycled plastic packaging by up to 10 percent. To balance out the tax, they plan on dropping the cost of goods packaged in recycled plastic by 10 percent. The plans were announced by Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, who emphasized that the move was just one of several changes aiming to reduce plastic waste in the country.
Poirson pointed out that a higher cost for non-recycled plastic would help eliminate excessive packaging, France 24 reports. A detailed timeline for the changes has not yet been announced, but the government will unveil additional measures in early 2019.
“Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy,” Poirson said. She went on to explain, “[w]hen there’s a choice between two bottles, one made of recycled plastic and the other without, the first will be less expensive.”
The French government plans to introduce more changes targeting plastics in the coming years, including a deposit-refund scheme for plastic bottles. The country also wants to increase taxes on burying trash in landfills and cut taxes for recycling operations, Poirson told Le Journal du Dimanche.
Plastic pollution has infiltrated nearly every facet of the environment imaginable, polluting waterways, creating plastic gyres in the ocean, threatening marine animals through the risk of ingestion and entanglement, leaching toxins, and returning to those who have produced it, be it via seafood or just drinking water. At current rates, it is estimated that plastic pieces in the ocean will outnumber fish by 2050.
Currently, France recycles around 25 percent of its plastics, and the country has already implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags in supermarkets. Meanwhile, the European Commission has proposed a ban on 10 plastic items that make up the majority of all litter found in Europe’s waters. It is great to see further measures being taken to reduce the amount of plastic we produce and dump into the environment, and we hope many other countries will take up similar measures soon!
To find out how you can help the planet by choosing reusable cups, bottles, and bags instead of single-use ones, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
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