This posts highlights some possible problems that could be encountered by France’s disposable plastic ban. Under the ban, all disposable utensils and dishes must be made of biological material.

1.  Social Cost
Ironically, France’s own Environment Minister is arguing that the compulsory use of expensive plant-based disposable products will create extra financial burden for low-income family. There are worries that the use of biodegradable plastics would increase production costs and burden consumers. Market vendors who pack their goods in plastic bags are also similarly affected.

2. Gap in Technology
In addition, even though the law mandates that disposable utensils must be compostable at home, many of these plant-based goods are only compostable in industrial facilities whose composters operate at far higher temperature. Thus, using biodegradable plastics may not offer any significant change.

3. Violation of EU Trade Agreements
France’s plastic ban imposes significant restrictions on plastic product manufacturers, contradicting the EU’s push for freer movement of goods. Hence, the plastic ban is likely to face oppositions from the manufacturing industries.

4. A Leopard can’t change its spots (People just like to waste things)
Not necessarily in France, but a disposable plastic bag ban in Austin, Texas, has prompted her citizens to dispose an increasing number of heavy-duty reusable plastic bags. Since greater energy and material are needed for the production of this bags, their disposable contributes to a larger carbon footprint.Perhaps the problem doesn’t lie with the material of the bag, but rather the wasteful characteristic of human beings.

For more information:

France becomes the first country to ban plastic cups and cutlery