Freshfel Europe asks for more time to implement French packaging law
Freshfel Europe has asked the European Commission to guarantee more time and flexibility to ensure the orderly deployment of the new French legislation on plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables.
France is set to introduce legislation – also known as the AGEC law – on January 1, 2022, which aims to reduce plastic packaging.
The French law goes far beyond the requirements of the European directive, providing limited flexibility to achieve the targeted reduction of plastic products, noted Freshfel Europe.
The new law only contemplates a phase-out option for consumer packaging weighing less than 1.5 kilograms, he added.
Philippe Binard, Managing Director of Freshfel Europe commented: “While the deadline for the elimination of plastic is set at 2040 in France, the objective for the elimination of fruits and vegetables is set for January 1, 2022, with only temporary exemptions limited until 2026. for certain particularly fragile products. The same pressure is not exerted on other food products, thus representing a discriminatory status for fresh fruits and vegetables. “
He added: “French law does not contemplate alternative solutions such as the use of recyclable plastic packaging, the ban being the only option. Removing plastic packaging from most fruits and vegetables in such a short time frame does not allow timely testing and introduction of alternatives and eliminating existing packaging stocks.
Other environmental priorities
Freshfel Europe also warned that the new legislation could significantly endanger other environmental priorities undertaken by the sector, such as commitments on food quality and the highest safety targets for fresh produce as well as initiatives by waste prevention.
The organization expressed concern that, pending the introduction of new innovative solutions on stickers, consumer information could also be compromised.
Binard explains: “The impact of the entry into force of the AGEC law is just as worrying for the adhesive labels affixed to fresh fruits and vegetables sold to French consumers. The major difficulty today is that there is still no company capable of providing AGEC. “compatible” labels.
“The ban on stickers that cannot be composted at home without having an alternative on the market is problematic because it will considerably endanger the labeling of essential information conveyed to consumers on the stickers such as origin, brands, geographical indications. or organic. “
© 2021 European supermarket magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more packaging news, click here. Click on register for ESM: European Magazine of Supermarkets.