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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

France bans institutionalised wastefulness

On June 4, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that the destruction of unsold consumer products is to be prohibited, and it will become compulsory to reuse or recycle such goods.

The ban on the destruction of non-food goods – such as clothing, electronic items, hygiene products and cosmetics – would come into force within the next four years. According to the French prime minister’s office, more than 650 million euro’s worth of consumer products are thrown away or destroyed in France, which is five times the value of goods that people donate to charity.

“It is a waste that shocks, that is shocking to common sense. It’s a scandal,”

said Philippe when he announced the measures at a Paris discount store.

Junior environment minister Brune Poirson promised in January to solve the problem of consumer products that are thrown away, after a television documentary proved that the online store Amazon was destroying millions of items returned by its customers.

The British fashion house Burberry has also caused outrage last year when it admitted burning unsold goods worth some 28.6 million pounds a year to prevent them being sold off cheaply. The French prime minister has stated that special provisions were being considered for the luxury sector to force companies to reuse products.

France will phase in a new regulation prohibiting the destruction of non-food consumer products over the next four years, forcing manufacturing companies to reuse or recycle instead Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: The Guardian

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