Single-use plastics: where do we stand?

Published on 2nd Jul 2021

One of the key objectives of the AGEC law (n°2020-105 of 10 February 2020) is to reduce the use of single-use plastic products. A number of products have been banned since January 2021, including cups and glasses made of expanded polystyrene, confetti, straws, etc.

There are several steps planned for the coming years, including a ban on plastic tea bags and free plastic toys in fast-food restaurants from January 2022, and disposable tableware in restaurants from January 2023.

This reduction is of course in line with the objectives of Directive (EU) 2019/904 of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the environmental impact of certain plastic products. However, faced with a succession of new French measures, the scope of which is sometimes difficult to understand, and which are coming into force at a rapid pace, it is difficult for the operators concerned to find their way around and above all to prepare themselves, particularly when the deadlines are particularly tight (or even non-existent).

Although late in coming, the publication of the European Commission's guidelines on single-use plastic products in May 2021 brings some clarity to this context.


Among the French implementing legislation expected soon, we should also mention:

  • the order on the maximum permitted plastic content in single-use plastic cups (whose standstill period under the TRIS notification is ongoing until at least the end of July 2021), and
  • the decree on the marking of certain single-use plastic products (imposing a logo on certain single-use products).

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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