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New Bill Sets Out French Government Vision For A Circular Economy, But Not Everyone Is Convinced

July 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A new bill is to be introduced to the French parliament in September that sets out the country’s vision for a circular economy and an environmentally-sustainable society, by adopting a "repair, re-use, recycle" approach. As well as trying to eliminate built-in obsolescence in electrical and electronic goods, it would also bring in more Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes. A key proposal is the “consigne” scheme: a deposit of 10-15 centimes added when buying single-use drinks containers. It appears to cover only plastic and aluminium. When the scheme ran in the 1970s, it also applied to glass bottles. The bill also addresses the need to improve plastic recycling rates, in a country in which only 26.5% of household plastic is recycled. The government wants this to be 100% by 2025, even though experts believe it’s an unrealistic target, but there is no target for reducing plastic use. Critics say the proposals, and especially the consigne arrangements, will be expensive for consumers, local councils and small shopkeepers, and it will benefit drinks companies, who will have free access to PET for recycling. One estimate suggests that local councils will lose 250-300 million euros a year from handling recycling. [Image Credit: © evelynlo from Pixabay]
Alison Hird, "France drafts new chapter in the ‘war on waste’ ", RFI, July 11, 2019, © RFI
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