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France to ban plastic packaging for fruit & vegetables January 2022

France will ban plastic packaging for nearly all fruit and vegetables from January 2022 in a bid to reduce plastic waste. The French government published a list of about 30 fruits and vegetables that will have to be sold without plastic packaging from January 1. The list includes leeks, aubergines and round tomatoes as well as apples, bananas and oranges.

The Environment Ministry issued a statement, saying: "We use an outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives. The circular economy law aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging.”

Recent estimates claim that 37% of fruit and vegetables are sold with packaging. The new measure is expected to prevent more than one billion useless plastic packaging items per year.

President Françoise Roch from the Federation National des Producteurs de Fruits said switching to cardboard will be difficult in such a short time: "Also, selling loose produce is complicated as many customers touch the fruit and people do not want their fruit to be touched by other customers.”

According to a article, the packaging ban is part of a multi-year government program to phase out plastic. From 2021, France banned plastic straws, cups and cutlery, as well as styrofoam takeaway boxes.

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