Barbara Pompili, Minister for Ecological Transition, Bruno Le Maire, Minister for the Economy, Finance and Recovery and Julien Denormandie, Minister for Agriculture and Food, has signed the decree banning plastic packaging around unprocessed fresh fruit and vegetables in France.
As foreseen by the law on the fight against waste and the circular economy of February 2020, known as the AGEC law, from 1 January, it will no longer be possible to sell unprocessed fresh fruit and vegetables packaged in plastic, with a progressive ban for the most fragile cases.
With an estimated 37% of fruit and vegetables currently sold in packaging, this measure will eliminate over a billion unnecessary plastic packages each year.
Around 30 fruit and vegetables to be sold without plastic packaging from 2022
As of 1 January 2022, around thirty unprocessed fresh fruit and vegetables will be sold without plastic, including fifteen or so vegetables: leeks, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes and carrots, round tomatoes, onions and turnips, cabbages, cauliflowers, squash, parsnips, radishes, Jerusalem artichokes and root vegetables.
As for fruit, apples, pears, oranges, clementines, kiwis, mandarins, lemons, grapefruits, plums, melons, pineapples, mangoes, passion fruit, persimmons, etc. will be found on the shelves without plastic packaging from 2022.
The decree provides for a gradual application of this ban so that by 2026 at the latest, all fruit and vegetables will be sold without plastic packaging.
The decree, which will be published on Tuesday 12 October, is the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders, economic actors and representatives of civil society. It sets out a timetable for finding and deploying alternative solutions by 30 June 2026 for fruit and vegetables that present a significant risk of deterioration when sold in bulk. For example, peaches and apricots, ripe fruit, sprouted seeds, red fruit, or “early” vegetables, i.e. harvested in spring before they are fully ripe, will benefit from deadlines from 30 June 2023 to 30 June 2026. A six-month tolerance period for the disposal of packaging stocks is also provided.