France discounts bottles made from recycled plastic packaging

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
France currently recycles 25.5% of its plastic packaging waste, the second worst recycling rate in Europe.

Bottles made in France from recycled plastic will soon be cheaper than their virgin plastic alternative, reports Reuters.

Government minister Poirson said France will introduce a discount-premium system worth up to 10% of the product price to incentivise consumers to recycle.

Beginning in 2019, the French government will introduce a series of actions to improve recycling rates including increasing landfill taxes and reducing tax on recycling operations.

A deposit return scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles will also be introduced.

Actions are in line with the country's Circular Economy Roadmap launched in April which suggests 50 goals including using 100% recycled plastics across the country by 2025, reducing resource consumption 50% by 2025 and increasing extended producer responsibility (EPR).

France currently recycles just 25.5% of its plastic packaging waste, the second worst recycling rate in Europe.

Paul Vanston, INCPEN chief executive, remained sceptical that a similar tax could achieve results in the UK.

He said: “In the UK context incentivising packaging recyclability, and recycled content in packaging, were important recommendations from the whole value chain to Michael Gove in April 2018. These arose from the extensive engagement by INCPEN, WRAP and the Advisory Committee on Packaging.

“We also advocated an important principle whereby money raised by packaging producers needs to stay within the packaging value chain to help solve the many issues that need funding.”

Vanston argued the UK Plastics Pact was already tackling specific issues on packaging design, recyclability and capture of recyclables.

He added: “Taken as a whole, these actions aim to arrive at better outcomes for society than a blunt virgin tax may be able to offer.”

There was no confirmed date when the proposals will come into action.

The use of single-use plastic bags in French supermarkets has already been banned unless they can be composted.

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