In a bid to reduce plastic waste, France is banning plastic packaging for nearly all fruit and vegetables from January 2022, the environment ministry announced this week.
Implementing a February 2020 law, the government published a list of about 30 fruits and vegetables that will have to be sold without plastic packaging from 1 January.
The list of vegetables includes; leeks, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes and carrots, round tomatoes, onions and turnips, cabbages, cauliflowers, squashes, parsnips, radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, and root vegetables.
Fruits such as apples, pears, oranges, kiwis, lemon, citrus, prunes, melon, pineapples, mango are also included.
“We use an outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives. The circular economy law aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging,” the ministry said in a statement.
It estimated that 37% of fruit and vegetables are sold with packaging and expects that the measure will prevent more than one billion useless plastic packaging items per year.
French fruit sellers federation president Francois Roch said switching to cardboard will be difficult in such a short time.
The packaging ban is part of a multi-year government program to phase out plastic. The ban will be extended to all fruit and vegetables no later than June 2026, the environment ministry said, in order to find “alternative solutions” to plastic packaging. This would be for ripe fruits and berries that could deteriorate if sold in bulk.
Source: Packaging news