A law banning plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables has come into force in France as of New Year’s Day, to end what the government has called the “aberration” of overwrapped carrots, apples and bananas, as environmental campaigners and exasperated shoppers urged other countries to do the same.
Emmanuel Macron has called the ban on plastic packaging of fresh produce “a real revolution” and said France was taking the lead globally with its law to gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040.
Spain will introduce a ban on plastic packaging of fruit and vegetables from 2023. For years, international campaigners have said unnecessary plastic packaging is causing environmental damage and pollution at sea.
Photo: AP 照片：美聯社
From New Year’s Day, France bans supermarkets and other shops from selling cucumbers wrapped in plastic, and peppers, courgettes, aubergines and leeks in plastic packaging. A total of 30 types of fruit and vegetables are banned from having any plastic wrapping, including bananas, pears, lemons, oranges and kiwis.
Packs over 1.5kg are exempt, as well as chopped or processed fruit. Some varieties, including cherry tomatoes or soft fruits such as raspberries and blueberries, are given longer for producers to find alternatives to plastic, but plastic packaging will be gradually phased out for all whole fruits and vegetables by 2026.
With an estimated 37 percent of fruit and vegetables sold wrapped in plastic packaging in France in 2021, the government believes the ban will cut more than 1bn items of single-use plastic packaging a year. The environment ministry said there must be curbs on the “outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives.”
Photo: AP 照片：美聯社
Fruit and vegetables wrapped in layers of plastic have exasperated consumers not only in France but neighboring countries. Nearly three-quarters of British people have experienced “anxiety, frustration or hopelessness” at the amount of plastic that comes with their shopping and 59 percent think supermarkets and brands are not doing enough to offer refillable, reusable or packaging-free products, according to a poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth and City to Sea in June last year.
Retired teacher Sunny Hsu majored in advertising design and he is a former director of general affairs of National Keelung Commercial and Industrial Vocational Senior High School. His mother is in her 80s and suffered a brain injury that prevents her from expressing her thoughts clearly, so in 2018 he decided to go back to his hometown Penghu County to look after her, returning to Keelung for one week of each month to visit his wife and daughter. Being a keen photographer, when Hsu is staying in Penghu he often hops on a bus and goes around taking photos of
I’m preparing for my graduation project (5/5) 我正在準備畢業專題（五） A: Congratulations! You successfully completed the presentation of your research paper today. B: Thanks. Now, all that’s left is the product display tomorrow. A: What products is the graduating class going to display this year? B: Our class has chosen several extremely popular products: beer, masks and chocolate. Want to come? A: 恭喜你！今天的研究報告發表順利結束。 B: 謝啦，現在只剩下明天的商品展示。 A: 今年的畢業班要展示哪些商品？ B: 我們班挑選了啤酒、口罩、巧克力，都是蠻受歡迎的產品，你要來參觀嗎？ （Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩） Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
I’m preparing for my graduation project (3/5) 我正在準備畢業專題（三） A: Once you’ve written up the results, the paper is finished, right? B: Not yet: the final component is a discussion and the conclusion. A: It sounds really complex. B: This final section is the most important part of the research paper! A: 寫完研究結果，報告應該就完成了吧？ B: 還沒完，最後還有結果討論和研究結論。 A: 聽起來好複雜。 B: 這部分可是研究報告的重點呢！ （Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩） Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
I’m preparing for my graduation project (2/5) 我正在準備畢業專題 （二） A: You have to write a research paper for your graduation project? Is it difficult? B: Yep. It’s basically the same as writing a graduation thesis. A: I’ve never written a thesis before. How do you write one? B: First, you have to write an introduction, then a literature review, followed by the methodology and the results. A: 你的畢業專題還要寫研究報告？很難嗎？ B: 對啊，這就像是在寫畢業論文一樣。 A: 我從來沒寫過論文耶，那要怎麼寫呢？ B: 首先要寫研究介紹和文獻回顧，再來就是方法和結果。 （Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩） Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.