The publication of the implementation decree of the anti-waste law for a circular economy in France, voted on in January 2020, appeared on the 12th of October 2021. From January 1st, 2022, plastic packaging will be banned for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, leading food sector for bulk sales
The fresh fruit and vegetable sector is one of the main sectors that maintain bulk sales, with nearly 65% of the products sold that way. The sector actually represents less than 1.5% of the plastic packaging used in the food sector. Why, then, is the fresh fruit and vegetable sector the main target?
It is indeed important to note that for many of these products, the packaging is truly useful for technical quality and traceability, especially for the sectors that promote specific quality approaches. They are also an essential tool to improve communication with consumers. In most cases, they help limit food waste as well, and better protect and keep the products.
Structural and technical obstacles
With a few weeks left before the implementation of the decree, the sector’s companies will have to face many structural and technical obstacles while important implementation issues still need to be clarified. Additionally, current issues such as the Covid crisis, the availability of raw materials, and the economic cost of alternative solutions, make it particularly difficult to implement by January 1st, 2022 for the entire market.
Besides, it is a pity that some pragmatic propositions formulated by the sector were not retained, such as the use of 100% recyclable plastic to pack fruit and vegetables (authorized in all other sectors).
“We are strongly hoping that this measure which is “purely French” (out of touch with the European directive on single-use plastics) and exclusively sectoral, will not penalize the place of French products in Europe and that consumers will continue to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.”