Britain’s environment minister Mickael Gove announced last month that he wants to ban plastic straws. The French association “Bas Les Pailles” has published a forum for France to emulate this example.
Refreshing news for the environmentalists. The petition of the association Bas Les Pailles recently reached the 99.000 signatories on the platform Change.org. This collective launched by the anthropologist Mounia El Kotni wants to simply ban plastic straws in France, quite simply.
Indeed, if the plastic straws that garnish our juices and cocktails look harmless, they have an impact on the environment far from harmless. Small, light, they are among the most collected waste on the beaches when they are not found directly in the ocean. “Plastic straw is the disposable product par excellence, it is used for a few minutes and then we forget it. A true champion of the disposable society, “says Flore Berlingen from Zero Waste.
“In France, every day 8.8 million straws are used and discarded and this only in fast food. Plastic straws are among the 10 most collected garbage on the French coast. “Can be read on the site of the collective. “Their small sizes make them difficult to recycle,” says Flore Berlingen. “Often by the effect of runoff they end up in nature or in the ocean”.
Once at sea, fish and birds confuse straws with food, all the more easily as the straw breaks up into small pieces over time. “And all this obviously comes back to us: ingested by animals, this plastic is found most of the time … in our plates.” Can be read on the page of the petition.
An ecological fight “in the air of time”
“Prohibiting plastic straw is really a simple way to reduce plastic waste,” says Berlinger. This is certainly the reason why many collectives militate for their prohibition. Some have bet on a striking name that attracts attention like the London Straw Wars Association or Straws Suck, the campaign run by the Surfrider Foundation. Others are the result of the outrage of very young activists, such as the one less straw campaign launched in 2009 by Olivia and Carter Ries when they were respectively 8 and 7 years old at the time.
A growing mobilization that reaped political victories. In Canada, the city of Tofino in British Columbia has eradicated plastic straws since 2016. In the United States, Seattle became the first city to ban plastic straws in the summer of 2018. Mickaël Gove, Minister English environment, announced last month that it wanted to ban plastic straws. Scotland, Costa Rica, Belize, Kenya, and Taiwan also provide for a total or partial ban on plastic straws.
In France, commitments have already been made to reduce the number of plastic waste. Indeed, the previous government has already promised to ban the sale of disposable plastic tableware, plastic swabs, and micro-marbles in beauty products by 2020. A promise that the Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Nicolas Hulot, is committed to holding.
“This decision of 2015, was indeed a great step forward for the fight against polluting plastic waste, confirms Flore Berlingen, now we would like to extend this list of disposable plastic products banned, already with the straws but also, with the coffee taps that exactly the same problems. “On this point, the representative of Zero Waste is optimistic:” It is in tune with the times in Europe, the Commission should also announce measures in this direction in a few days “.