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France aims to ban plastic bags by 2016
Plastic shopping bags at supermarket checkouts could soon become a thing of the past in France after the government’s environment minister Ségolène Royal proposed the groundbreaking measure this week.…
The bag ban got a big boost after lawmakers on the National Assembly’s Commission for Sustainable Development voted in favour of it on Wednesday during a debate on a biodiversity bill, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.
The ban was proposed in an amendment of the bill by Ségolène Royal, France’s new Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, who joined the government three months ago.
“It’s a very important step, which has been anticipated for a very long time by environmental associations. We don’t realize the extent to which non-biodegradable plastic bags lead to pollution and excessive waste, which can considerable harm, notably to fish,” said Royal, the former wife of French President François Hollande.
The ban will include all single-use plastic bags, as well as those used for fruit and vegetables, unless the bags are biodegradable.
Instead of plastic bags for carrying the shopping home the bill proposes the use of other containers such as trolleys or shopping baskets.
Image: Plastics bags awareness poster by Surfrider Foundation