A ban on the use of plastic to package a range of fruit and vegetables came into force in France on Saturday, to the dismay of the sector’s packaging industry.
However, the full legislation will not be applied until 2026, allowing firms to adapt, including on the sale of red fruits considered fragile.
Six months has also been granted to use up existing plastic packaging stocks.
“We were never consulted,” complained Laurent Grandin, head of the fruit and vegetable sector’s Interfel association.
He told AFP the costs were “insurmountable” for small companies who would have to keep using plastic to protect exports, notably to Britain, a major client for apples.
Big supermarket group Casino said it will now sell tomatoes in cardboard packaging and provide customers with paper or cellulose bags.
The packaging companies say the October 8 decree caught them by surprise, particularly the ban on recycled plastics.
“We have client firms … who will have to stop their fruit and vegetable packing activity, even though they have been working on alternatives using less plastic or recycled plastic for several years,” said a statement from the Elipso association that represents manufacturers.