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The 30 fruits and vegetables France is banning plastic packaging for

An older man weighs vegetables in a plastic bag at a supermarket in France
Photo: Jean-Francois Monier / AFP
France is to ban plastic packaging for around 30 fruit and vegetable products from January 1st, 2022, as part of an anti-waste law adopted last year.

“We use an outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives,” the economy, ecological transition and agriculture ministries said in a combined statement. They estimated that 37 percent of fruit and vegetables are packaged in plastic in France.

From January, the following fruit and veg will not be sold in plastic packaging.

Vegetables: leeks, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, cabbages, cauliflowers, squashes as well as potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes, Jerusalem artichokes and other root vegetables;

Fruit: apples, pears, kiwis, plums, pineapples, mangos, passion fruits, persimmons as well as oranges, clementines, mandarins, lemons, grapefruits and other citrus.

READ ALSO: Food and fuel prices in France behind rise in cost of living

These measures apply to products sold in batches of less than 1.5kg. After a six-month grace period, distributors who fail to comply will face fines of up to €15,000 and daily penalties of €1,500.

Sellers, however, claim that food packaging represents a small percentage of plastic packaging in France, and say the switch could be difficult as cardboard is not as sturdy.

The ban is part of a rolling programme to cut plastic waste in France. As of next year, public facilities must provide water fountains to reduce the use of plastic water bottles, fast-food restaurants can no longer offer free plastic toys, and publications must be shipped without plastic wrapping.

Plastic straws, cups and cutlery, as well as styrofoam takeaway boxes were banned last year. Disposable plates used to consume meals on site in fast-food restaurants will be banned from January 2023, while packaging will be banned from other fruit and veg gradually up to 2026.

2023

Certain varieties of tomatoes (elongated, cherry or cocktail), early onions and turnips, Brussels sprouts, green beans, grapes, peaches, nectarines and apricots will no longer be allowed to be wrapped in plastic after July 1st, 2023, to give retailers time to find alternative solutions.

2025

Endive, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, early potatoes and carrots, lettuce, baby greens, herbs, spinach, sorrel, edible flowers and mung bean sprouts will be removed from plastic from January 1st, 2025. The same applies to cherries, cranberries, lingonberries and gooseberries.

2026

Meanwhile, plastic packaging will be banned from ripe fruit, sprouted seeds, soft fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants and blackcurrants from July 1st, 2026.

READ ALSO: How you can get a garden in France if you live in a city


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