PARIS (AP) – No more plastic packaging around fruits and vegetables and automotive advertising promoting walking and cycling instead of driving: in 2022, French customers will be encouraged to adopt more environmentally friendly habits as part of a series of new regulations.
The measures promoted by the government of President Emmanuel Macron aim to reduce pollution and the impact of cars on greenhouse gas emissions.
From Saturday, leeks and carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, apples, pears and around thirty other items will no longer be sold in plastic. Instead, they should be wrapped in other materials like cardboard.
Plastic will still be allowed for more fragile fruits like berries and peaches, but will be phased out in the coming years.
The government has said the new regulations are expected to eliminate around a billion plastic waste per year.
Magazines and other publications will also have to be shipped without plastic packaging, and fast food outlets will no longer be allowed to offer free plastic toys to children.
The coming year will also see automotive ads in France forced to include a message encouraging people to consider greener transportation.
From March, they will have to mention one of the three messages: “For short journeys, prefer walking or cycling”, “Think about carpooling” or “On a daily basis, take public transport”.
According to a decree released this week, the new regulations will apply to advertisements on TV, radio, in newspapers, on billboards and online.
Advertisers who do not comply are subject to a fine of up to 50,000 euros ($ 56,652) per delivery.
Similar mandatory messages are already part of the advertisements for processed foods since 2007 in the country, such as “For your health, avoid eating too fatty, too sweet, too salty”.
The transport sector in France is responsible for around 31% of greenhouse gas emissions, half of which is generated by passenger cars.
Also in 2022, French telephone operators and Internet service providers will be invited to provide their customers with an estimate of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by their online activity and the use of mobile phones.
This initiative aims to increase public awareness of the environmental impact of digital technology. Emissions are generated in particular by data centers, which create data clouds at the cost of high energy consumption.
A Senate report last year revealed that the sector accounted for 2% of greenhouse gases in 2019 in France.
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