By Ariel Miller, ESRAG Newsletter Editor

Circular Economy Will Flourish in France

Rotarians Huxley and Ariel Miller (Cincinnati Rotary Club, Ohio, USA) loving Paris even before they knew about France’s advances in circular economy.

ESRAG Chair Yasar Atacik was delighted to find a news story by columnist George Monbiot in The Guardian on France’s commitment to reduce waste and pollution, including passing a circular economy law. Circular economy will flourish in France!  Here are some of the policies Monbiot lauded in his article:

  • Single-use plastics are prohibited in public procurement
  • Shops must allow people to bring refillable containers, charging lower prices when they do
  • Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers may not throw away unsold items: they must be donated or recycled. 
  • Policies designed to eliminate planned obsolescence

The policies to deter planned obsolescence include requiring several major consumer goods sectors – from electronics to toys – to provide spare parts and repair instructions, to pay into a repair fund, and a ban on restricting the repair or durability of their products.

France is also beginning to make manufacturers pay for the costs of disposing of their products once they’re no longer usable, as well as developing plans to cut resource use in manufacturing their products and improving recyclability. 

“By 2025,” the article reports, “single-use plastic packaging will be reduced by 20%, all new washing machines will have filters to catch plastic microfibres, and supermarkets and caterers will have to reduce food waste by 50%.”

If you are an ESRAG member in France, it would be great to hear any stories you can share on how these policies became law.  Do you have suggestions on how Rotarians can make the case for circular economy as beneficial for all concerned?  If so, send us your thoughts!