In France, since January 1, it is forbidden for fast food establishments to offer disposable packaging to their customers. Fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King or Subway, all the big brands can no longer serve single-use tableware to their customers who eat on site, even if it is made of cardboard.
Meals must now be served in washable and reusable dishes. A revolution, especially for fast food chains. The new regulations are supported by several environmental defense associations. Because the massive use of these single-use packaging, in addition to requiring constant production, is also a source of pollution.
The highly polluting French fast food sector generates 180,000 tonnes of waste each year. The anti-waste law coming into force in 2023 is an important step. Only washable and reusable dishes are now allowed on the tables. No more cardboard trays for fries or cups for drinks that end up in the trash. Only hamburgers can remain wrapped in paper for hygienic reasons.
Some fast food establishments had already started to get up to speed several months before the measure came into effect.
In order not to disturb the consumer, plates and cups have been marked with the colors of the brands, in the same way as the disposable containers. The giant McDonald’s had tested its reusable tableware in a dozen restaurants last year and has already deployed it in a large number of restaurants. “Investments have exceeded 100 million euros”, specifies the brand.
The deployment of reusable tableware is nevertheless difficult to set up in some restaurants, particularly in the Paris region, due to lack of space.
The association Zero Waste France, which fights against waste, calls for checks to ensure proper compliance with the law. As for takeaways, changes will also come, believe the defenders of the environment.
The Ministry of Ecology announces a fifth class fine, or 1,500 euros, for those who do not respect this new provision. “In the event of a repeat offence, the maximum fine incurred is increased to 3,000 euros for a natural person, 15,000 euros for a legal person. “
A formal notice is also possible, decided by the administrative authority “accompanied by a daily penalty” of 1,500 euros or more, “applicable until satisfaction of the formal notice”.