FRANCE BANNED PLASTIC WRAP FOR FRUITS AND VEG – AND SO SHOULD WE

Back in 2019, I saw this story and thought just how beautiful this Asian supermarket looked, with all fruits and veg wrapped up in banana leaves, and the difference it makes! Our global stories are chocked by plastic containers and wraps, and this is one of the solutions which worked for them, so I wonder why our European stores can’t switch to beeswax food wraps which are natural and reusable, and they are easy to find on Amazon for example.

Photo credit: Perfect Homes Chiangmai

It would make a tremendous difference in the pocket of plastic manufacturers, I’m sure of that, but since we’re phasing out plastic might as well switch to manufacturing beeswax wrappings, if they would actually do market research and listen to the results(give them a hand Kantar). France is ahead of the sustainability game, as the country banned plastic wrap for fruits and veg to eventually go plastic free by 2026, and so should we! This ban took effect on Jan 1st, 2022, according to GMO Free USA’s Facebook page. Spain is also set to follow suit in 2023.

Free the cucumbers! Now if you happen to shop in France, you won’t see around 30 types of fruits and veg in plastic packaging, like peppers, cucumbers, leeks, which are my pantry favorites. The Guardian reported that producers are allowed to take their time to find alternatives to plastic packaging for chopped and processed fruits, which is disappointing, do we really need chopped fruit? Moïra Tourneur advocacy manager at Zero Waste France(NGO) had the same feelings saying ‘’ Giving more time for certain fruit and vegetables is a bit of a shame.’’ You really can’t buy whole fruit and chop it at home? Let’s tackle all aspects of consumerism not just the convenient side.

Soon to be historical photograph of strawberries in plastic cups, by
Julia Filirovska for Pexels.com

Last December, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminded New Yorkers that ‘’State’s ban on expanded polystyrene foam containers and ‘packing peanuts’ begins Jan. 1, 2022’’, and learned from Commissioner Seggos that ‘’Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers already live in communities that are ‘foam free’’ and I think we can learn from how they do it. Plastic wraps and packaging are mostly unnecessary, and don’t prevent waste, but the contrary, Wrap UK found.

So what do organisations do with all this plastic swimming around? Two friends were on holiday in Julie’s hometown of Marseille noticing that the sea looked different than the postcards, and decided to collect plastic found in the sea and turn into magical sneakers, under the name Corail. Corail is a brand that employs fishermen to pluck out plastic waste which then is processed and turned into sneakers by an artisanal workshop in Portugal. What’s even more beautiful is that once the sneakers are at the end of their life, worn out, they can be recycled and processed again by the brand. It lights up my soul that there are people out there working on making the world a better place for us all, a shoe and a cup at a time.

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