Choose foods on the supermarket shelves. Proceed to checkout. Put them in his bag. To arrive at home. Unpack them to store them ... and throw most of the packaging. This gesture, we repeat dozens of times each year. Heresy, when you know that food packaging directly impacts the environment and human health. Where is the law on the subject? Are there any viable solutions? We talk about it with Célia Rennesson, co-founder of a bulk network and re-use.
Why food packaging is problematic
Impacts on human health
Food packaging has emerged with the development of retail more than sixty years ago. From field to plate, packaging is necessary to transport and protect food. "" "The overwhelming majority of food packaging is made up of plastic. For single use, their proliferation leads to many issues for humans and the environment”Indicates Célia Rennesson.
Bisphenol A, phthalates, hydrocarbons, aluminum, micro-plastic ... We ingest these substances in our food, but also in the air that we breathe and in the water that we drink. The health effects can be diverse: impacts on the immune system and the respiratory system, endocrine disturbances, decrease in fertility, or even rising risk of cancer.
Single -use food packaging, environmental enemies
Conceiving single -use packaging requires limited raw materials most often from petrochemicals. Transported to be cremated, buried or recycled, packaging releases CO2 and uses energy. “Likewise, plastic, synthetic material, never degrades. It is fragmented into increasingly small pieces that spread in micro and nano persistent plastic and contaminate all the environments and all animal species, from the smallest to the largest. ”
Recycling will not adjust everything
Recycling is a part of the solution, the last step when you have not managed to reduce and rely. However, it maintains the linear economy of packaging and the use of fossil fuels to make new single -use packaging. When you know that barely 30 % of plastic packaging is recycled in France, it becomes obvious that the solution is upstream, in a drastic reduction in our packaging.
Food packaging: What does the law say?
The anti-gaspillage law and circular economy
The Agec law of February 10, 2020 aims to transform the linear economy into a circular and anti-winning economy. Several objectives of the first decree concern plastic packaging:
- Reaching 20 % reduction in single -use plastic packaging by the end of 2025, of which at least half obtained by using re -use and reuse.
- Strengthen to a 100 % reduction in unique plastic over -expansion, by the end of 2025.
With this law, two articles around bulk consumption have entered the consumer code (L-120-1 and L-15-2), notably offering consumers the right to make purchases with their own container.
Climate and resilience law
This law, promulgated from August 22, 2021 following the Citizen Climate Convention, indicates in particular that the sales areas of 400 m2 and more will have to devote, from 2030, to devote to minimum 20 % of their sales space in bulk and to products without packaging.
What about fruits and vegetables?
The Agec law provides for the ban on the over -assessment of fruits and vegetables over 1.5 kg.
On June 20, 2023, the Official newspaper Published the decree specifying the ban on plastic sales of fresh fruits and vegetables, in June 2026. Unfortunately, this text fixes a list of twenty-nine exemptions, for indefinite duration. Concretely, this means that mushrooms, endives, broccoli, potatoes or early carrots can always be sold packaged in plastic ...
Solutions to fight over -assessment
Bulk, an effective response
Each year, a Frenchman throws on average seven kilos of new egs. Bulk offers a response to this waste and food over -assessment. “When you shop in a classic store, packaged products leave us no choice: the composition of products, packaging materials, quantity or price to pay. The bulk releases from these injunctions! ” specifies Célia Rennesson.
There are many benefits of bulk for health, the environment and the portfolio:
- Buy raw products to cook yourself. And therefore, avoid questionable additives.
- Bring your own reusable containers. We decide the materials - organic glass or cotton for example - and we avoid extraction of raw materials and the energy necessary for the design of packaging and recycling. If we forget them, there is always the possibility of providing with bars given or recorded in store.
- Choose your quantities for less food waste. Mechanically, this impacts the price of races.
The role of bulk network and re -use
The association was created 7 years ago with a mission: developing products sold in bulk or in recorded packaging to allow citizens to waste fewer food and throw less packaging. Composed of more than 1000 members, the network carries out awareness -raising actions with the general public, but also lobbying on a national and European scale to move the law. “We are shooting for bulk to be present in more stores, with a wider and practical range of products for consumers. But also so that staff are formed to hold the shelves. ” If bulk sales today represents 0.75 % of sales of consumer products in France, Célia Rennesson hopes that one day this figure will reach 10 %, and finally the bulk will become obvious.
A vegetable garden to avoid food packaging
Cherry tomatoes under plastic film. Salad in sachets. Fresh coriander packed. We still meet in the shelves of our supermarkets many fruits, vegetables and aromatic herbs wrapped in a packaging. If the law advances things in small steps, there is an alternative: the vegetable garden.
Getting started in gardening allows both to be independent on part of your diet and to eat quality products, directly at home. Don't have a garden? Are you afraid of not succeeding in your harvest? The vegetable vegetable patch is the right alternative. With our connected vegetable garden, you can harvest up to 3 kg of fruit and vegetables per month in ultra short circuit. No transport, no packaging, and tasty foods to cook and Share !
Latest tips for products that can neither be bought in bulk nor cultivated in your vegetable garden: avoid packaging filled with vacuum or several thicknesses. Favor paper and cardboard, less harmful to the environment than plastic. Consume tap water rather than bottled water.
Every year, 90 billion Food packaging pass into the hands of the French. They constitute the most important volume of the content of the garbage cans. Doing without single -use containers requires large -scale changes and disrupts business models established around transport, packaging and sale. “Without real ambition of public authorities and industrialists, it will be difficult. But consumers have a crucial role to play in this transformation by supporting our steps and always demanding less disposable packaging ” concludes Célia Rennesson.