Biodegradable fruit and vegie bags mandatory in France

France has introduced a law to make bio-based, biodegradable fruit and vegetable bags mandatory. Introduced as part of a wide-ranging set of reforms on energy transition and green growth, bioplastic lightweight bags for fruits and vegetables, as well as some other types of packaging, will need to be bio-based and compostable in home composting from 1 January 2017.

The French law has also banned oxo-fragmentable plastics, which are durable, fossil-based plastics with artificial additives, that cause the plastic to fragment into micro-particles. They do not meet the European norms for compostability and the new law prohibits the production, distribution, sale, provision and utilisation of packaging or bags made partially or completely from oxo-fragmentable plastics. The move was welcomed by bioplastics industry bodies. “These provisions represent an important step for the French bioplastics industry, which has invested more than 40 million euros in the last 15 years,” said Christophe Doukhi-de Boissoudy, president of French association Club Bio-plastiques. “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,” said François de Bie, chairman of the board of European Bioplastics.