Law to make French restaurants dump single-use cutlery for good in new year
Eateries and fast-food chains in France are racing to modify their practices as the deadline to do away with use of disposable cutlery draws nearer. From January 1, 2023, all the eateries will have to use reusable cutlery in what French environmental organisations are calling a 'paradigm shift' for the sector.
New law means that eatables like burgers and sandwiches cannot be served in a box. They can, however, be wrapped in paper. Other foods like chips, nuggets, pizzas, cakes, ice-creams and drinks will have to be served in reusable cutlery which will have to be washed at 60 degrees Celsius like in normal restaurants.
There are about 30,000 fast-food outlets in France. These serve roughly 6 billion meals a year. This generates 180,000 tonnes of waste. As per reports, 55 per cent of this waste is generated by people eating in.
“We’re extremely happy that this is finally coming into force,” said Alice Elfassi, head of legal affairs for the NGO Zero Waste France.
“Fast food is a sector that produces a lot of waste. Although single-use plastic had already been banned, it had been replaced by large amounts of throwaway products like cardboard, wood, bamboo, which we consider an unacceptable waste of resources,” Elfassi was quoted by The Guardian.
“Most fast-food restaurants won’t switch to classic, long-wearing glass or china that lasts years, they will opt for hard plastic and we have concerns about its durability – will it withstand hundreds of washes or will it be thrown out after only a few? We’ll be vigilant on that,” she added.
The new rules say that any restaurant with more than 20 seats will have to serve food in reusable, washable plates cups and cutlery.