Single use plastic bags are set to disappear from French checkouts by the end of March 2016.
The law, part of France’s energy transition bill, was originally due to come into force on January 1st, but its introduction has been delayed due to a hold up in Brussels. The European Commission has called for clarification of the text legislating the ban, for example, making clear the precise size, weight and type of bags affected by the ban.
The bill does not include a ban on those plastic bags that are deemed re-usable or biodegradable.
France’s efforts to reduce the number of plastic bags in distribution – which decreased drastically from 10.5 billion to 700 million between 2002 and 2011 – comes on the back of a call by the EU asking member states to reduce the 100 billion bags handed out by 80 percent.
A second law is planned for January 2017, which will ban all other kinds of disposable plastic bags (unless biodegradable), including those provided for packaging fruit, vegetables or cheese.