We're all hearing about the AGEC Act these days, but what exactly is it? Who is concerned ? And what are the new rules of the game to respect?
HERE ARE THE 5 IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING ABOUT THE AGEC LAW:
- The AGEC law, or “anti-waste law for a circular economy” , was adopted in France in February 2020 to fight against waste and promote a more sustainable economy.
- This law, which applies to many sectors, aims to reduce waste and encourage the reuse, recycling and recovery of end-of-life products.
- It is based on several concrete measures: the ban on certain disposable products, the establishment of a deposit system for plastic bottles and cans, or the creation of an extended producer responsibility sector for furniture waste.
- 100% of single-use plastics must be banned by 2040, with a 50% reduction by 2030 and the deposit will be extended to all glass packaging by 2025, with a collection rate target of 90 %.
- The AGEC law is an important step in the transition towards a more circular and environmentally friendly economy.
THE AGEC LAW IN THE FAST FOOD SECTOR :
The AGEC law also has a significant impact on the fast food sector in France. Indeed, the law provides for the gradual ban on many single-use plastic items such as cups, cutlery, straws, stirrers, burger and salad boxes, and ketchup and mayonnaise sachets.
This measure also applies to food packaging, such as plastic trays and films, which will need to be replaced by more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives.
In addition, the AGEC law encourages the establishment of deposit systems for glass and metal packaging used by restaurants and fast-food restaurants. This means customers will need to return containers after use to be cleaned and reused, rather than throwing them away.
Restaurants could also be held responsible for managing the waste they produce, incentivizing them to adopt more sustainable practices and reduce their environmental footprint.
Regarding the ban on single-use plastic products, restaurants had to stop distributing plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers since January 1, 2021, and ketchup and mayonnaise sachets since January 1, 2022.
The ban on cups, burger and salad boxes, and plastic films and trays for take-out catering came into force on January 1, 2023. According to the French government, the AGEC law will thus make it possible to reduce the production of plastic waste by 20% by 2025 with a zero plastic objective.
Regarding deposit systems for glass and metal packaging, the implementation of these systems is planned from 2023, but this may vary depending on the region and the size of the company.
WHY IS THE AGEC LAW ADDRESSED TO THE FAST FOOD SECTOR?
Fast food is a sector that produces a significant amount of waste each year in France. Indeed, many single-use products such as cups, cutlery, straws, plastic bags and food packaging are used in fast food and take-out restaurants.
This is why targeting fast food through the AGEC law is important for several reasons.
Firstly, it helps reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste produced by the fast food sector, thereby helping to reduce the environmental impact of this industry.
Indeed, plastic waste constitutes a significant threat to biodiversity and human health, due to its very long lifespan and its ability to fragment into microplastics. For example, it takes 1000 years for expanded polystyrene packaging (used in particular to wrap kebabs) to decompose in nature.
Next, the AGEC law encourages take-out restaurants and fast-food restaurants to adopt more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, by offering more ecological alternatives and implementing waste collection and recycling systems.
This incentive may also impact consumer choices, who may be more inclined to choose more sustainable and environmentally friendly options.
Finally, targeting fast food through the AGEC law makes it possible to increase awareness among businesses and consumers of the environmental issues linked to waste production, and to encourage them to adopt more responsible and sustainable practices.
WHAT ARE THE ECONOMIC ISSUES OF THE AGEC LAW?
The implementation of the AGEC law may also have significant economic implications for the fast food sector.
Firstly, it can encourage companies to innovate and offer more sustainable alternatives, for example by turning to biodegradable or compostable packaging and cutlery. This innovation can offer new economic opportunities for companies that will be able to offer sustainable alternatives.
WHAT ARE THESE MORE SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES?
Biodegradable or compostable packaging and cutlery are alternatives to traditional plastic packaging and cutlery that do not naturally degrade in the environment. Unlike traditional plastics, biodegradable or compostable materials are designed to decompose under the action of microorganisms present in the soil or in composting facilities.
There are different types of biodegradable or compostable materials, such as paper, cardboard, wood, bamboo, PLA (a corn-based polymer), or even sugar cane. These materials can be used for manufacturing packaging, cutlery, cups, bags, etc.
However, it should be noted that using biodegradable or compostable materials is not always a silver bullet to solving the waste problem.
Indeed, their degradation often depends on environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity and the presence of microorganisms. If these conditions are not met, materials may take a long time to degrade, or may not degrade at all.
It is therefore important to choose biodegradable or compostable materials certified according to recognized standards. We also often talk here about industrial composting, that is to say composting under specific conditions (x degrees; y% humidity, in containers, etc.).
There is an even more impactful label which is Home Compost which means that the packaging decomposes, in this case, naturally, in a classic compost, at home.
HOW DOES FLYCUP MEET THE NEW NEEDS OF FAST FOOD?
Flycup currently offers packaging in 100% recyclable cardboard thanks to classic recyclability certifications. We also worked with Veolia to test and approve the 100% recyclability of our solutions in order to complete the process.
Currently, the company is developing a new cardboard solution without any plastic coating, but with an algae-based coating. These elements, as well as our manufacturing in France , the use of varnish (and not plastic film) as well as vegetable ink (and not mineral), today allows us to have 28% lower carbon emissions compared to traditional packaging.
However, we still seek to go further. To do this, we want to completely remove all traces of polymer in our packaging. We are therefore going to work with a 100% biosourced coating to now offer a solution without any plastic and above all compostable “home compost”.
In addition to this compostable solution, the Flycup team is also working on a 100% reusable and washable solution, with a view to reducing waste. This solution would allow restaurateurs to use Flycup products in a circular way, without generating waste.
In summary, the AGEC law has a significant impact on the fast food sector in France, by encouraging the adoption of more sustainable practices and the reduction of single-use plastic waste.
Restaurants will have to adapt by offering more ecological alternatives and setting up waste collection and recycling systems. This measure should make it possible to reduce the production of plastic waste from fast food, which currently represents around 30% of the total production of plastic waste in France.
Faced with these new challenges, Flycup offers solutions to meet the needs of fast food and the stadium and events sector more broadly, in terms of ecological and sustainable packaging.
The AGEG law could tomorrow also be imposed on the events sector, like the LFP which now conditions redistribution of TV rights to clubs based on their CSR commitments and actions.