France Becomes First Country To Ban Plastic Cups And Dishes

The measure will take effect in 2020.

Au revoir, plastic cups! France is done with you.

According to The Associated Press, France has become the first country in the world to ban disposable, plastic cups and dishes.

Under the new law, which passed last month, all single-use cups, plates and other dishware sold in the country will need to be compostable and made at least partly of bio-sourced materials. Businesses have been given until Jan. 1, 2020 to comply with the measure. 

France currently throws away more than 4.7 billion plastic cups every year, according to newspaper Les Echos. Only 1 percent of these items are recycled.

Though environmentalists and others have rejoiced in the passage of the new measure, it has also been met with criticism. At least one packaging industry lobbyist has threatened to take legal action against France for violating European Union rules on the free movement of goods, AP reported.

France, which hosted the landmark Paris Climate Change Conference last year, has stepped up its commitment to climate action and other environmental issues. The country’s plastic dishware ban follows a similar prohibition on plastic bags, which began in July.