The French are committed to saving the environment, even if that means eating with their hands!
John Loo/Flickr

In the country's latest effort to battle climate change, France plans to ban all plastic utensils, plates, cups, and boxes that are petroleum-based. The law, part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, will require that all plastic cutlery and tableware be made entirely of biodegradable materials. It will come into effect in 2020.

See what you can do to shop, cook, and eat more sustainably

Of course, that's only if opposition to the law doesn't thwart the plan first. Just days after the plan was announced, Brussels-based Pack2Go Europe, an organization that represents and protects packagers and manufacturers across the region, expressed concern over the move. The secretary general of the organization, Eamonn Bates, urged the European Commission to push back against the ban, which he claimed to be an infringement of European law and the free movement of goods.

There are also those who feel that the ban could backfire and actually lead to more environmental concern, since compostable products could lead to more careless littering. At the very least, some critics say the law wouldn't be worth the trouble, since the energy-guzzling process of making biodegradable products hardly makes the switch an improvement at this point in time.

Should the law go through, though, it would make France's nationwide ban on plastic -- the country just joined others in nixing plastic bags back in July -- one of the most extensive that any nation has seen. Talk about très magnifique!


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