In an effort to reduce environmental damage and carbon footprint, France is the first country to ban disposable plastic cutlery. The directive suggests that plastic utensils be replaced with eco-friendly products made with 50% biodegradable, compostable, and biologically sourced material, by January 2020. In context, this regulation supports France's "Energy Transition for Green Growth Act," that is considered to be an overarching law adopted in 2015 targeted at minimizing climate change issues.
The regulation puts pressure on the manufacturers of such cutlery to invest in the development of novel products with bio-based biodegradable content and introduce them by 2020. Moreover, the booming take-out, delivery, and food service & catering industry is deeply concerned about the detrimental impact this regulation will have on its revenues.
Pack2GO Europe, with its headquarters in Brussels, is the first organization to react and oppose this ban, saying that the ban violates the European Union laws on the free movement of goods. Pack2GO Europe is the industry association that represents Europe’s top food-packaging manufacturers.
The French regulation refers to disposable plastic products that have become notorious for their ability to increase litter, pollute the environment, and even pose risks to land and marine life. While these products are at the heart of the flourishing catering, take-out and delivery food service business, they are also in most cases thrown away rather than recycled, and thus likely to end up in landfills.