On the 22nd of July the French parliament adopted the law on energy transition and green growth proposed by Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.
The new law includes a wide range of legislative proposal, such as:
- reduction of the nuclear power share in the French energy mix
- 40% increase of renewables by 2030
- 40% CO2 reduction by 2030
- Bioplastic lightweight bags for fruits and vegetables will need to be biobased and compostable in home composting from 1 January 2017 on
- Plastic packaging for commercial mailshots will have to be biodegradable/compostable in home composting by 1 January 2017
European Bioplastics (EUBP) welcomes the opportunities created by the new law to introduce biobased, compostable plastics to selected types of packaging as well as fruit and vegetable bags. "We fully support the clear commitment to plastics which are biobased and biodegradable" states François de Bie, Chairman of the Board of European Bioplastics.
“These provisions represent an important step for the French bioplastics industry, which has invested more than 40 million euros in the last 15 years. Unfortunately, however, an important opportunity to promote single-use bags that are biobased and biodegradable at the cashier’s desk was missed. They could have been a valuable tool to safely transport goods and later on to hygienically collect biowaste” states Christophe Doukhi-de Boissoudy, president of French association Club Bio-plastiques.
The French law on energy transition and green growth also clearly distinguishes between biobased, biodegradable/compostable plastics and oxo-fragmentable plastics. Compostable plastics that have been certified according to EN13432 support a separate biowaste collection and home-composting infrastructures. They help to keep other waste streams such as mechanical recycling efficient and clean. Oxo-fragmentable plastics are essentially durable, fossil-based plastics with artificial additives, which cause the plastic to fragment into micro-particles. They do not meet the EN13432 standard for compostability and can potentially hinder mechanical recycling. European Bioplastics therefore welcomes the clear vote of the French institutions to prohibit the production, distribution, sale, provision and utilisation of packaging or bags made partially or completely from oxo-fragmentable plastics.
"France has taken a step forward to the responsible consumption of plastic materials and to treating waste as a valuable resource. Bioplastic materials will contribute their share to its environmentally responsible economic growth", concludes de Bie.