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France Just Became The First Country To Ban All Plastic Plates, Cups, And Utensils

Whether it is because of convenience or convention plastic utensils are ubiquitous. Their overuse has overwhelmed our landfills, wasted energy resources and polluted our oceans for decades. Some countries have implemented half-hearted measures to contain the damage and a number of progressive localities have already banned the use of plastic bags. France was the first nation to take it a step further and pass national legislation that bans the use of plastic plates, cups and utensils.

Science Alert reported that this legislation "is part of the country’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act - a plan to make France a world leader in adopting more environmentally friendly practices, and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions." The strength of this law has plastic manufacturers worried and they vow to fight the legislation. They argue it will somehow make pollution worse, provide few environmental benefits and that their rights include protection from regulatory overreach.

The danger posed by plastic goes far beyond the sheer volume of garbage it generates and the fossil fuel required in the manufacturing process. Plastic is not inert or non-toxic. It often contains the gender-bending endocrine disrupter BPA. Plastic also may contain lesser known toxins such as phthalates and PBDEs. In fact, plastic bottles and utensils may be the root of the widespread reproductive issues that plague the developed nations. The ban in France is a good first step. It is time to seriously address the declining fertility rates, plummeting sperm counts, genital malformations and soaring obesity rates that are so pervasive in our toxin riddled world.
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