In 2019, France plans to implement a penalty system that will see an increase in the cost of products packaged with non-recycled plastic. The system comes as part of a nationwide pledge to use only recycled plastic by 2025. Secretary of state for ecological transition, Brune Poirson stated the shift was the start of several other changes that will be implemented in the coming years, including deposit refund schemes for plastic bottles.

“Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy,” said Brune Poirson.

The new plan proposes products packaged with recycled plastic could be reduced in price by around 10 percent, while those with non-recycled plastic would cost 10 percent more. Tax increases on burying trash in landfills have also been put forward as a government aim, while taxes for recycling operations would be cut.

“When there’s a choice between two bottles, one made of recycled plastic and the other without, the first will be less expensive.”

“For bottles, giving consumers a choice is possible. But we can’t forget other items – today there’s no recycled plastics available for yoghurt pots,” said Emmanuel Guichard of the Elipso federation of plastic packaging makers.

“We’re hoping that companies play the game so that clients aren’t the ones penalised by the new measure,” said Flore Berlingen, Zero Waste France association.

Similar to occurrences in several other countries, France has recently been hit by a series of ‘plastic attacks’ where customers have dumped plastic packaging from purchases outside stores as a sign of increased public awareness of the plastic problems and store responsibility for packaging used.

“When non-recycled plastic will cost more, that will eliminate much of the excessive packaging,” said Poirson.