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Players react to France’s ban on plastic dishware usage

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 23/09/2016 (16:48)
According to news that appeared in the press this week, France banned the usage of all plastic dishware including single use glasses, plates, spoons, knives and forks unless they are made of biological materials. The law took effect last month and will enter into force as of 2020. France, also known for its prohibition on plastic bag usage in supermarkets earlier this year, will be the first country to ban the usage of all plastic dishware.

After this decision, the first reactions were expressed by Pack2Go, a Brussels-based organization representing European packaging producers in Europe, who immediately protested that the law violates European Union rules on the free movement of goods.

Players in Europe also shared their comments on the case. A buyer operating in Italy stated that they were informed about the ban by their production plant in France, but said that it does not concern them since they mainly focus on plastic containers and food packaging. However, he thinks that switching to bioplastics is impracticable at the moment as production activities are not ready to manage a similar production in the short term.

A buyer operating in France said their production will be affected by this law and some customers already switched to paper and vegetable fiber for their end products. He hopes that after the elections, the new government will amend the law; however they are trying an alternative way to produce in order to switch their production to bio materials by 2020.

In Turkey, the head of Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation (PAGEV), Yavuz Eroğlu said, “The loss to Turkish converters who export their end products to Europe may reach USD 30 million.” In a statement on the PAGEV website Eroğlu said: "This is an area where France has a foreign trade deficit and is dependent on imports, while Turkey is a leading manufacturer. By adopting this regulation, France causes unfair competition in the plastic product import market of 500 million dollars, and Turkish plastics manufacturers may suffer losses upto 30 million dollars per year. We have a Customs Union agreement with the EU, but Europe Union has yet to achieve a true union among them. We have been harmonizing our laws with European laws during the acquisition process. However, we are now faced with the strange prospect of being unable to export our EU-compliant products to France after 2020."

Eroglu, also an executive committee member of European Plastics Converters (EUPC), added that, as EUPC, they have appealed to the European Commission regarding the enforcement of this law.
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