The French government said that it plans to make bottles produced with recycled plastic cheaper than ones made from new plastic. It will further tighten regulation on plastic use.
Brune Poirson, Junior Environment Minister, told that the government also plans to push two changes: increase taxes on landfill and reduce value-added tax on recycling activities. Veolia, Suez and other French recycling firms have been asking for such reforms for a longer period of time since they will boost the firms a lot.
The government plans to increase the interest in recycling and channel more plastic waste towards it using an innovative discount-premium system worth up to 10 percent of the price of a product.
“Tomorrow, when there is a choice between two bottles, one made with recycled plastic, the other not, the first one will be cheaper,” she said. Additionally, we will see even additional and specific measures to tackle plastic pollution in early 2019.
Another change that will take an action is the 2020 ban of plastic straws, cups, and plates. This was proposed by the previous socialist French government (the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron) in 2016, but it has rejected proposals to introduce a deposit on plastic bottles.
The ultimate goal is to achieve 100 percent plastic recycling by 2025, but it has to be done step by step in order to prevent a defensive reaction from the industry. If in two years from now there is no progress, new regulations will be introduced.
Currently, the situation is not that good in France. It recycles only 25.5 percent of its plastic packaging waste – second-worst rate in Europe. Germany and The Netherlands have already achieved 50 percent.
For instance, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, CEO of leading French retailer E.Leclerc, stated that the company will stop selling plastic products even from the end of the first quarter of 2019. They will be replaced with recycled plastic or other disposable or reusable products and packaging.