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What We Should Learn from France’s Plastic Ban

By Fredrica Syren:

When we were in France in July, I noticed how restaurants, ice cream bars and coffee shops offered only paper straws. When I went grocery shopping, I noticed that all produce bags as well as the shopping bags are made from compostable cornstarch.

Since 2015, when the Paris Climate Agreement was agreed to, France has proved to be a pioneer as a country and front-runner in Europe by making changes that will benefit the planet.First, they banned food waste by grocery stores, and then they bannedplastic bags from supermarket checkouts. As of January 2017, the bans have been extended to include plastic bags used by customers to carry fruits and vegetables. This implementation has saved France from seeing17 billion plastic bags each year, and has kept 8 billion of them from being discarded “in nature.”

Furthermore, in a groundbreaking measure,France also launched a new law which requires that by January of 2020, 50% of the components in all single-use cups, plates and other dish ware sold in the country be biologically sourced materials that can be composted. That ratio will rise to 60% by January of 2025. The effort is part of France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, a law adopted last year with the goal of mitigating the impact of climate change.

Today, more than 4.7 billion plastic cups end up in landfills every year. Only one percent of these items are recycled, due largely to the fact that they are made of a mixture of polypropylene and polystyrene.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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