Anti-waste law voted unanimously: towards an ecology of everyday life?


At last we are there and it's a good surprise! The Joint Joint Committee (CMP) met this Wednesday, January 8, to rule on the anti-waste bill for a circular economy: it reached an agreement unanimously of its members.

In the ministry's press release, Elisabeth Borne, Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, and Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, praise the quality of the work carried out throughout the discussion of the bill, which now contains more than 130 articles.

For Elisabeth BorneThe anti-waste bill for a circular economy is one of the pillars of our action for the ecological and solidarity transition, it is the demonstration that it is possible to reconcile simple gestures and profound transformations. I salute the quality of the work carried out with parliamentarians and local authorities, which will enable this bill to be rapidly deployed in the daily lives of our fellow citizens."
Brune Poirson is just as satisfied: " The adoption of the anti-waste bill for a circular economy is a major step in our country's ecological transition. It will allow our society to move away from disposable products, change our production model, involve consumers more and help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I would like to thank the members and senators for the work they have done throughout the parliamentary review, across partisan lines.

The bill now validated by the Joint Joint Committee (CMP) will be definitively adopted by the Senate and the National Assembly in the coming weeks.

Changing production and consumption patterns

This law is intended to mark the acceleration of the change in production and consumption patterns in order to limit waste and preserve natural resources, biodiversity and the climate. Out of 150,000 contributions on ecological transition during the major national debate, 70,000 mentioned the issue of waste, which is not sufficiently sorted, collected, reused, recycled or recovered. Many French people rightly consider that the waste management system in France is not efficient enough.

The bill is the result of nearly a year and a half of consultation, undertaken as part of the climate plan, and is based on four main lines of action: putting an end to waste in order to preserve our natural resources, mobilising industrialists to transform our production methods, strengthening consumer information, improving waste collection and combating illegal dumping.

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The main orientations

Prohibit the disposal of unsold non-food items. The Government wished to combat overproduction by putting an end to the disposal of unsold, and therefore new, products. This practice will henceforth be prohibited for all non-food products, including textiles, electronic products and daily hygiene products. Unsold products will have to be donated or recycled.
This measure is a world first and complements the existing arrangements for food products.

Review the packaging collection and sorting system. France is among the worst performers in Western Europe in this respect. So why not consider deploying a deposit system, in order to fight plastic pollution and move towards the goal of 100 % of recycled plastic by 2025?

A steering committee has been set up by the Secretary of State to the Minister of State, Minister for Ecological and Solidarity Transition, to define the conditions and procedures for implementing such a system (packaging concerned, type of deposit chosen - for reuse or recycling, amount of the deposit or even financing of deconsignment systems). Deadlines have been granted to local authorities to try to achieve the bottle collection targets without the deposit, failing which it could be implemented, on the basis of an assessment scheduled for mid 2023". on the basis of the results obtained ".

As France does not currently have reliable national statistics on the collection and treatment of waste, particularly plastic waste, it is now up to Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) to assess national performance in this area every year.
From now on, Ademe will therefore publish each year in June the most recent measurement of the collection rate of local authorities, to assess their ability to achieve, without recourse to a deposit, the European objectives of 77 % of plastic bottles collected in 2025 and 90 % in 2029. It is up to local authorities to achieve the right targets to avoid the introduction of deposits on plastic bottles.

Reinforcing the polluter pays principle. The objective is to make those who manufacture or distribute a product responsible for financing its end of life. This is called extended producer responsibility. Several major product families are concerned by this regulation today: packaging, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, medicines, tyres, household graphic paper, textiles and footwear, furniture, gas bottles, etc. The law will allow toys, wipes, cigarettes, sports and leisure, DIY and gardening articles to be added to this list.
The text thus prohibits single-use plastic in the fast food, for meals served on site by 2023, and wants to phase out the use of receipts for small amounts, unless specifically requested by the customer. It also wants to end single-use plastic packaging by 2040. This is not to the liking of some environmental NGOs because this deadline is considered too late. 

Promote products that are better for the environment. Manufacturers who design their products in an environmentally friendly way will receive a bonus on the contribution they pay for the management and treatment of the end of life of their products. Conversely, manufacturers who do not integrate ecodesign into their production processes will see this contribution increase with a penalty. This would reduce the need for vendors to display a repairability index on certain products (e.g. washing machines, vacuum cleaners or lawnmowers). 53 % of the French people surveyed say they would like to consume better and differently. These measures will make it possible to meet this expectation.

Manage construction waste (demolition, rehabilitation, etc.) more efficiently. While the building sector today produces the equivalent of more than 700 kilos of waste per year per French citizen, the recycling performance of the sector is not satisfactory. To improve them and fight against illegal dumping, the bill provides for the possibility of imposing a free take-back of certain waste once it has been sorted beforehand.

Read more about the flagship measurements

As a reminder, since 2012, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling for urgent measures to halve food waste by 2025.
Faced with food waste at all stages - producers, processors, retailers, catering services and consumers - MEPs have therefore long called for a coordinated European strategy, combining European and national measures, to improve the efficiency of the food and consumer chain, sector by sector, and to tackle this problem as a matter of urgency. If nothing is done, food waste will increase by 40 % by the end of 2020, a study published by the Commission at the time indicated, while recalling the figures for the origin of the waste: households: 42 % (here, waste can be avoided at 60%); food industry: 39 %; retailers: 5 %; catering sector: 14 %. 
And as the "pope" of the fight against food waste explained it Tristam Stuart (1)The phrase, "To waste is to act against solidarity".

(1) Author of the bestseller " Global waste "Edition Rue de l'échiquier, 2009

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