Fast-food restaurants aren’t renowned for their environmentally-friendly policies. However, France is introducing a law that will see single use tableware banned.
Currently, big chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King serve food on disposable tableware, including items such as boxes and cups. The environmental cost is huge, with the 30,000 plus fast-food outlets in France generating an approximate 180,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Environmentalist groups are elated with the news, and have referred to the new law, which will be introduced on January 1 2023, as ‘revolutionary’.
“We’re extremely happy that this is finally coming into force,” said Alice Elfassi, head of legal affairs for the NGO Zero Waste France. Ms Elfassi added that despite single-use plastic already being banned, the fast-food industry still generated a huge amount of waste.
‘Although single-use plastic had already been banned, it had been replaced by large amounts of throwaway products like cardboard, wood, bamboo, which we consider an unacceptable waste of resources.’
The new model will see fast-food restaurants with seating capacity of above 20 reverting back to the old-fashioned method of washing and reusing cutlery and plates for diners who choose to sit in.
The French government are known for being forward-thinking when it comes to environment. The country is consistently ranked as one of the most sustainable nations in the world, including offering generous financial incentives for people to switch to electric bikes. In 2015 the country even passed a law stating that new rooftops must be covered in either plants or solar panels.