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French Council of State declares the decree on fruit and vegetables that can still be sold in plastic packaging “illegal”

On the 9th of December, the highest administrative court annulled the decree on fruit and vegetables exempted from the ban on plastic packaging and asked the French government to “redefine a list by decree to meet the mission entrusted to it by the law." 

The Council of State subsequently explained its decision. “The law regarding circular economy and the fight against waste has entrusted the government with the task of establishing a list of fruit and vegetables with a risk of spoilage if sold in bulk, in order to permanently exempt them from the ban on plastic packaging which has been in force since January 1st, 2022. The list provided by the government has been objected to by several organizations before the Council of State that now considers it illegal. [...] However, some of the items on this list do not necessarily present a risk of spoilage and the government has set, for each of these fruits and vegetables, the period during which they can continue to be sold in plastic packaging after January 1st, 2022.”

⚖ The Council of State annuls the list of fruit and vegetables that can still be sold in plastic packaging

➡ Read the decision: 

— Council of State (@Conseil_Etat) December 9th, 2022 

The interprofession has reacted to this decision by the Council of State. “Interfel reaffirms its willingness to reach the objectives to get rid of plastic in a reasonable manner. For the sector, this decision makes it possible to consider a preliminary consultation in order to find, together with the government, the best framework to implement this law. This should be harmonized at the European level and it should reconcile economic constraints and technical solutions.

Regarding the scope of the law, Interfel has always asked for a harmonization of the rules at the community level in order to maintain free competition and free movement of fresh fruit and vegetables in the single market for both professionals and consumers. The European Commission has announced proposing a single regulation to strengthen the targets for recycling and reuse of packaging (especially food) at the European level, which seems to be a step in the right direction.”

According to Laurent Grandin, president of Interfel, “there will be no turning back for fresh fruit and vegetables. Our sector is aware and willing to get rid of plastic as fast as possible. We will continue to invest and search for the best solutions together and in harmony with the European Union.”

Photo: © Mourad ALLILI / MAXPPP

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