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Against waste and for the circular economy: what the law says

Publié le 12 février 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Crédits : © dannyburn -

Plastic cup on a beach

Development of bulk sales, supply of reusable containers, possibility to bring own containers, prohibition of the printing and systematic distribution of receipts, prohibition of single-use plastic products, end of labels on fruits and vegetables... The Law on Combating Waste and the Circular Economy was published in the Official Journal of 11 February 2020.

The Act provides in particular that:

1to January 2021:

  • unloading non-hazardous recoverable waste (e.g. plastics, pallets, cartons, green waste) will be progressively prohibited;
  • aggressive advertising will be prohibited outside sales;
  • new single-use plastic products will be prohibited: straws, spoons, take-out cup lids, expanded polystyrene boxes (e.g. kebab boxes), steak spades, balloon rods, plastic confetti and all oxodegradable plastic objects;
  • distributing plastic bottles free of charge in enterprises will be prohibited;
  • drinks served in a reusable container presented by the consumer will be sold at a lower price;
  • large areas over 400 m2 provide reusable containers (free or for a fee);
  • bulk traders will have to accept containers brought by the consumer;
  • placing advertising material on vehicles and distributing promotional gifts in mailboxes will be prohibited;
  • a network of drinking water fountains will be created.

1to July 2021:

  • bringing your own reusable containers will be possible in restaurants.

1to January 2022:

  • plastic tea bags, plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables under 1.5 kg and plastic toys distributed free of charge at fast-food restaurants will be prohibited;
  • public establishments shall provide a water fountain;
  • shipping newspapers or magazines in plastic packaging will be prohibited;
  • labels on fruits and vegetables will be prohibited.

1to January 2023:

  • disposable dishes in fast food restaurants will be prohibited for meals served on site.

Some measures will be subject to implementing decrees:

  • improving information on the environmental qualities and characteristics of waste-generating products;
  • inform about the repairability of certain electrical and electronic equipment (such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners or mowers);
  • inform about the availability or non-availability of spare parts necessary for the repair of electrical, electronic and furniture equipment;
  • inform consumers about the sorting act;
  • destroying (incineration and landfill) unsold new non-food items (clothing, footwear, beauty products...) will be prohibited to encourage their reuse or recycling;
  • instructions for reuse and reuse (including plastic bottles) will be put in place;
  • issue certain medicinal products to the unit (by 1to July 2021);
  • systematically print and distribute receipts and credit card tickets, unless otherwise requested by the customer will be prohibited (by 1to January 2023).


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