FRANCE
Draft law puts waste collection in focus / Elipso sees need for more sorting plants and EPR for industrial packaging / "Access to recycled material is tomorrow's challenge for plastic packaging producers"
On 10 July 2019, the French government presented an anti-waste draft law as previously announced (see Plasteurope.com of 01.07.2019). The proposed circular economy bill was put forward by Brune Poirson, who is secretary of state for ecological and inclusive transition. On Twitter that same day, she said France’s waste management system will be made more transparent, efficient and fair.

The country has a circular economy roadmap called “Feuille de route pour l’économie circulaire” (Frec) that was unveiled in 2018 (see Plasteurope.com of 24.05.2018). Commenting on the draft law, Françoise Andres, president of Elipso (Paris; www.elipso.org) – the French trade association representing plastic and flexible packaging manufacturers – said it was “ambitious and strong” and will “profoundly disrupt the way we treat our waste.” She added that the association shares the ambition to improve and optimise collection and sorting rates for plastic packaging. “Used packaging should no longer be considered as waste but rather as a valuable resource and treated as such.”

The government has the ambitious target for all plastics waste in the country to be recycled by 2025, and Elipso notes that to collect 100% of packaging, the expansion of sorting instructions across France must first be finalised. In addition, there needs to be the introduction of a new extended producer responsibility (EPR) for industrial packaging, and establishing an industrial composting sector would also improve the collection of organic waste.
Access to recyclate a challenge for Elipso members
The bill provides the possibility of a mandated minimum recycled content in new products. Andres stresses that “access to recycled material is tomorrow’s challenge for plastic packaging producers.” The association sees it as essential to gain access to recycled material, such as through the implementation of bottle deposit return schemes. Better organisation for collecting household and industrial packaging can also increase the amount of recycled plastics available on the market. Elipso would like to see support for implementing new recycling channels for the different types of polymers and innovation, such as in chemical recycling.

As Elipso managing director Emmanuel Guichard has noted (see Plasteurope.com of 12.02.2018) Elipso supports an EPR fee that is “eco-modulated” using certain recyclability criteria with a “bonus-malus” system. For France’s packaging industry, these eco-modulations are in line with Elipso members favouring eco-design and the usage of recyclate.

Andres would like to see “peaceful debate” on plastic packaging issues. “Our innovative sector is fully in the field of the circular economy. Industrial time is longer than the media time. Our industry contributes fully to the success of our country’s environmental transition.”

Earlier in 2019, the government also launched a national pact on plastic packaging, “Pacte National sur les emballages plastiques” (see Plasteurope.com of 13.03.2019). Signatories include consumer goods giants, retailers and NGOs.
12.07.2019 Plasteurope.com [242933-0]
Published on 12.07.2019

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