Approved legal modification to prohibit plastics containers for catering in school, university and nurseries in France appears in conflict with European law

Date

28 Sep 2018

Sections

Climate & Environment
The new French law on Agriculture that will be formally adopted on 2nd October, prohibits the use of plastics containers for cooking, heating and serving food in catering in schools, universities and nurseries.
 
The French legal modification appears to be against European law, as it creates a disruption of the Single market framework, violating the free circulation of goods as well as the freedom of placing packaging products in the market, according to Article 18 of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
Moreover, a proposal that affects public procurement rules for the catering in schools and similar venues is inadmissible. Catering services operated by public authorities fall into the scope of the European Directive on public procurement, 2014/18/EC. This Directive does not foresee additional restrictions for certain types of products. Accordingly, any over-implementation by a Member State of a Directive must be carried out in observance of the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination.
 
The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) is highly concerned by the mentioned French legislative changes. It risks to create more damage than the one attempted to reduce by banning perfectly safe, compliant and recyclable food containers in the above mentioned applications. PCEP is keen on working to protect the environment and finding solutions to waste problems. PCEP’s working groups are constantly striving for improved recyclability – among many applications of the mentioned Polyolefin food containers. Blunt restrictions without thorough assessment are in no way a solution – instead we urge the European legislators to help set up proper European-wide collection schemes for plastic packaging waste in order to close the loop.
 
Polyolefins account for 50% of the total amount of plastics consumed in Europe and 70% of plastic packaging representing 40% of European plastics demand application wise. 27 million tonnes of post-consumer plastic waste were collected in Europe in 2016 from which about 16 million tonnes are polyolefins and 12 million tonnes are polyolefins packaging waste. PCEP seeks to identify the barriers and opportunities to increase Europe’s polyolefins recycling and work towards ensuring the supply of high quality recycled polyolefins for the European market.
 
About Polyolefins Circular Economy Platform
PCEP is a multi-stakeholder platform with a mission to advance the circular economy by increasing the reuse and recycling of polyolefin based products and the use of recyclates as raw material. By working together, the platform aims to ensure long-term sustainability for polyolefin products.
Press Contact: info@pcep.eu