France Composting 🇫🇷: According to Euro News, France is embracing sustainability by mandating composting for all citizens starting this 2024. This eco-friendly initiative, of course, aims to reduce organic waste and promote a healthier environment. But what other important information should you know about one of the most important developments in France? For example, what specific changes were implemented to make composting a requirement in France? What will they do with the collected organic waste? Or, how do its citizens and businesses/industries sort their organic waste? Waster will cover all that, so read on to learn more!

Mr Waster has already covered different countries in some of our blogs, with some of the news about them good, and a bunch of others bad. Thankfully, the former is today’s theme in this blog highlighting France’s compulsory composting.

Going back to the different countries we have blogged about in the past, let us specifically mention a country that did so poorly in the past, but now doing excellently in composting: South Korea. That blog mentioned different aspects when it came to the East Asian country drastically decreasing organic (in this case, food) waste.

What South Korea did some time back, namely making composting mandatory in 2013, is what France is also doing now at the start of 2024.

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Some statistics you should know about France’s organic waste

Before we move on to the news, we provide you with some interesting statistics about France’s organic waste.

Almost one-third of residential garbage is organic, coming from gardens and food waste. It usually ends up in landfills or incinerators mixed with other trash, where it releases heat-trapping greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane.

The European Commission estimates that food waste accounts for 16 per cent of all emissions from the EU food chain. According to the UN, food loss and waste account for 8 per cent of all emissions created by humans worldwide each year.

Additionally, it can contaminate paper, plastic and glass packaging that is meant to be recycled.

According to NGO Zero Waste Europe, just 34 per cent of the bio-waste generated in the EU in 2018 was collected, meaning 40 million tonnes of potential soil nutrients were thrown away.

In France, a person throws away an estimated 82 kg worth of biodegradable rubbish per year.

Now, with all of that mentioned, we move onto the main questions: what changes were made to eliminate or, at the very least, regulate organic waste? What will they do to the collected waste? And, how will France’s citizens and businesses or industries sort their organic waste with the composting requirement?

Waster will answer all of that and more below.


Everything you need to know about France’s compulsory composting

France’s recent ‘Compost Obligatoire’ regulations went into effect on January 1, 2024. Under the new ‘compost obligatoire’ regulations, organic waste recycling becomes mandatory in France as of January 1, 2024.

Municipalities must provide households with methods for sorting bio-waste, which includes food scraps, vegetable peels, expired food and garden trash, supported by the government’s Green Fund.

Organic waste must be disposed of by households and businesses in a designated small bin for home pickup or at a municipal collection point. Before, only individuals who produced more than five tonnes of organic garbage annually had to segregate it.

After that, the rubbish will be converted into compost or biogas to replace chemical fertilisers. As an alternative, you might compost it at home.

Currently, it is the responsibility of local governments to give households a simple way to separate or compost their organic waste.

There won’t be any penalties for non-compliance while the facilities are being implemented. It remains to be seen if future regulations will be more stringent.

Once collected, France will convert the organic waste into compost or biogas to take the place of chemical fertilisers. As already mentioned above, citizens also have composting at home as an alternative if they would prefer. Read our blog on how composting at home works.

Local governments presently have the responsibility of giving households a simple way to segregate or compost their organic waste.

There won’t be any penalties for noncompliance during the rollout of the facilities. It remains to be seen if stricter rules and regulations will be implemented later on.


How to sort bio-waste with the newly implemented compost requirement in France

Citizens and businesses of France would ideally not have a hard time keeping all waste, specifically the organic ones in this context, at a minimum with a few pointers.

Careful food planning can help achieve this. Reducing waste also involves using every component of an ingredient and eating, freezing or conserving food before it goes bad. Even animal feed can be made from some food waste.

Food waste that can’t be composted or used again needs to be segregated and collected. Food scraps that have gone bad, baked goods, dairy products, eggshells, fruit and vegetable peels, pet food, raw and cooked meat and fish, bones, tea, and coffee grounds are all included in this.

Bio-waste bins should not contain liquids, non-food items or packaging.


Waster’s final thoughts on France implementing compulsory composting

First of all, we commend France for taking the steps necessary to sustainably reduce organic waste. The world, not just France, has long experienced the harmful effect of not regulating waste in general, not just the organic ones.

Waster, of course, hopes for this new regulation to succeed, as well as urges other countries to implement the same rules to not let the waste problem get out of hand.

As such, expect us to deliver more news about anything waste and recycling-related.

What are your thoughts on France’s new compulsory composting implementation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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