France is going to increase the cost of products packaged in non-recycled plastic, saying the economy needs to be “transformed” if the “war on plastic” is to be won.
It also intends to cut the cost of products packaged in plastic that has been used before.
Taxes on rubbish buried in landfills will be increased, while levies on recycling plants will be cut.
It is part of a pledge to use recycled plastic only by 2025, and to help tackle the proliferation of plastic in the world’s oceans.
“Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy,” the secretary of state for ecological transition, Brune Poirson, told newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
Other measures to be implemented in coming years included a deposit-refund scheme for plastic bottles, Ms Poirson said.
Under a new penalty system, items packaged in non-recycled plastic could cost up to 10% more, while products sustainably packaged could cost up to 10% less.
“When non-recycled plastic will cost more, that will eliminate much of the excessive packaging,” Ms Poirson said.
As the public becomes increasingly aware of the environmental damage done by single-use plastics, France has been one of several countries hit by “plastic attacks”.
These involve shoppers dumping all the packaging from their purchases outside stores.
France currently recycles around 25% of its plastic, according to the magazine 60 Million Consumers.
The use of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets has already been banned unless they can be composted.
Supermarket chains Carrefour and Leclerc are to stop selling plastic straws in the coming months, well ahead of a law banning them by 2020.
Over the last 10 years, world plastic production has risen by more than 40%, mainly to be used for packaging.
:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to cut back on single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com