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European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association representing the bioplastics industry in Europe, welcomes the approval of the French implementation decree on single-use plastic bags, which was published by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy on February 1.

The law makes France one of the first European countries taking concrete measures on plastic bags in favor of bio-based and compostable bags in an effort to comply with the European Directive to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags. It also underpins the benefits of separate collection of organic waste with biodegradable and compostable bags.

"The decree sets out clear requirements for the reduction of single-use plastic bags in favor of bio-based, biodegradable and home-compostable bags. This is an important measure and supports the efforts of EUBP to emphasize the essential role of bioplastics for the circular economy in Europe," stated Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of EUBP.

In August last year, France introduced a ban on single-use plastic bags as part of the new law on Energy Transition and Green Growth. An implementation decree setting out the requirements and conditions in greater detail has now been approved and will come into effect on July 1.

The decree applies to single-use carrier bags below a thickness of 50 microns, which will have to meet the requirements of the French standard for home composting and feature a bio-based content of at least 30%. The minimum bio-based content will increase progressively to 40% in 2018, 50% in 2020, and 60% in 2025.

"We expect the French decree to serve as an example for European legislation and to contribute to the increased demand of sustainable bioplastic solutions," von Pogrell concluded.

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