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French law to stop unsold goods from being thrown away

Feb '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
French parliament recently passed an anti-waste law to prohibit designer clothes and luxury goods firms from destroying unsold or returned products, including hygiene products and cosmetics, and ensuring its reuse, recycling and redistribution. France has already banned supermarkets from throwing away unsold foods and forced them to donate them to charities.

The French government claimed the law is a first in the world. The 130-article bill, aimed at promoting circular economy, was adopted after the lower house, Assemblée Nationale, passed it and the upper house, the Sénat, arrived at an agreement. The bill forces producers, importers and distributors to donate unsold products except those posing health or safety risk, according to European media reports.

More than $700 million worth consumer products get destroyed or thrown away every year in the country, according to French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe’s office. The law not only encourages the sale of loose foods to customers but also directs manufacturers, who use plastic in their products, to publish the details about the presence of endocrine disruptors.

The law aims at reducing by half the use of single-use plastic and all plastic recyclable in the next five years. It will also prohibit the use of plastic containers by fast-food restaurants and takeaways in the next three years. The law has a ‘polluter pays’ clause under which the companies have to finance the destruction of waste created by them.

However, French politician Arash Derambarsh reportedly said the new law does not have the provision to punish violators.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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February 2020

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