Waste: unsold non-food items can no longer be destroyed

The destruction of clothing, household appliances or even hygiene products will be prohibited by 2023, announced Édouard Philippe on Tuesday, in the company of Secretary of State Brune Poirson. The Prime Minister presented this project as a “world first”.

The destruction of unsold non-food products, such as clothing, household appliances, hygiene or beauty products, will be prohibited in France within two to four years, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Tuesday June 4. This measure will require these products to be donated or recycled. Presented as a “world first” by the head of government, it will feature in the draft law on the circular economy presented next July to the Council of Ministers, said Edouard Philippe, then visiting a place to collect a online sales sign in Paris.

– Watch on Figaro Live

More than 650 million euros of new and non-perishable non-food products are thrown away or destroyed each year, according to Matignon. “These products which have been manufactured, which have been marketed, and which have not found a buyer (…) too often see themselves totally destroyed, burned, dumped, never valued. It is a waste that shocks the understanding, (which is) scandalous, ”said the head of government alongside the Secretary of State to the Minister for Ecological Transition Brune Poirson, who is preparing the bill. And to continue: “Our idea is not to constrain or impose, but to support companies in the management of their stocks, their production, the recycling of their products, (…) to ensure that we were moving to a new stage in our economic functioning”.

Developments planned for the luxury sector

“We believe that recycling, the circular economy, are essential elements to meet the challenges of sustainable development, the protection of our climate and biodiversity”, also assured the Prime Minister. He specifies that the bill on the fight against waste will contain other elements, which will be developed “on another occasion”.

For products already covered by an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) sector, such as textiles and electrical and electronic equipment, the ban will come into force at the end of 2021. For the others, it will take place no later than the end of 2023, specified the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

According to Matignon, adjustments are planned in particular for the luxury sector, which is worried about seeing the emergence of a parallel market with sold-off products. But the new product must in all cases be recycled and not destroyed or landfilled. Certain products that can no longer be used after a certain date, such as foundation, may also be subject to exceptions. “The idea, in the long term, is that there are no more unsold items, with better inventory management,” according to an adviser quoted by AFP.

A measure that complements the 2016 anti-food waste law

If consumers are often unaware of it, the articles brought back to a store for an exchange or a change of mind are frequently put in the dumpster instead of being resold. Many brands are accused of destroying their unsold products. This is the case of Burberry, for example, which burned more than in 2017. Célio was also implicated, after the publication on social networks by store employees. A few weeks ago, the program Capital, broadcast on M6, explained that the online sales giant Amazon destroys millions of new products each year.

The announcement of this measure, which comes nine days after the breakthrough of the Europe Ecologie Les Verts party in the European elections on May 26, complements , carried by the Socialist Minister at the time Guillaume Garot. This text prohibits supermarkets of more than 400 m2 from throwing away food and making their unsold items unfit for consumption (by spreading bleach for example), under penalty of a fine. It also requires distributors to enter into agreements for donations made to charities.

The government has just extended this obligation to donate to communities and restaurants in the recent Food Law, which also authorizes it to take by ordinances “various measures to fight against food waste”. The implementing decrees are being drawn up, according to Matignon.

– Watch on Figaro Live

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