The changes in France on January 1, 2022, from the increase in the price of stamps to the minimum wage, through the end of single-use plastic packaging: an overview.
No boost for the minimum wage: the minimum wage increases by 0.9% from January 1, but it is an automatic increase due to inflation. It goes to 1,603 euros gross. Who says new year, also says changes for the wallet. The price of the stamp will increase by 4.7% to compensate for the drop in mail volume.
For motorists, a tightening of the penalty scale comes into force for new vehicles. Beyond 128 grams of CO2 emitted per kilometer traveled, a tax of 50 euros will be applied. A new ecological weight penalty will also be applied for new vehicles weighing more than 1.8 tonnes. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are obviously not affected.
The RE 2020, the new environmental regulations for new constructions, come into force and reinforce the requirements in terms of energy performance, summer comfort and carbon impact of each new building.
End of plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables
As of January 1, 2022, it is also the end of plastic packaging for single use. This is one of the flagship measures to fight against plastic waste. End of wrapping around newspapers and magazines that are distributed. The end also of plastic toys offered on children’s menus. Plastic packaging used for certain fruits and vegetables will be banned in grocery stores and on the shelves of French supermarkets. A measure that appears in the text resulting from the anti-waste law voted in early 2020.
There are around thirty fruits and vegetables affected by the end of plastic packaging. For example, cucumbers and broccoli will no longer be wrapped in cellophane. Apples, pears or kiwi will no longer be sold packed in plastic-coated trays. Products that these consumers used to buy.
” I often buy it when I have my groceries delivered, assures a young woman. Otherwise when I do the shopping myself, I am careful not to take it. It will be good for the environment. Plastic kills animals, especially at sea. I had no idea it was going to be done away with. “
Replace this plastic packaging: yes, but with what?
“Lou Légumes” installed in Brittany produces 8,000 tonnes of button mushrooms per year. Emmanuelle Roze at the head of this family business had to reorganize the entire industry to change the packaging.
” The mushrooms being a very wet product, we carried out three years of tests on cardboard trays, she explains. The box is four times larger. Our mushrooms are picked by our pickers directly in the trays. So we had to change our methods in picking mushrooms. We have an increase in the cost of packaging, we have an increase in labor costs and it is not over since there, we must find a solution to remove the film that is there. . “
The mushroom sector, like other families of products, has already obtained a period of two years in order to comply with standards.
The Surfrider association welcomes the measure
The ban on plastic packaging is a measure that appears in the text resulting from the anti-waste law voted in early 2020. A measure welcomed by Gaëlle Haut, in charge of the plastic lobby within the Surfrider association.
” Very concretely, this measure will allow us to eventually eliminate more than a billion plastic packaging each year, she explains. With this measure, France is tackling the problem of unnecessary packaging and unnecessary plastics in our daily lives. You should know that there is a real urgency to act against plastic pollution since we have more than 400 million tonnes of plastics that are produced each year in the world and that in this panorama, packaging is more a third of all these plastics that are produced and that will pollute the ocean and seas catastrophically. We have a truckload of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean every minute in the world. “
” It is a disaster for marine biodiversity, it is also a health and climatic disaster, but on the other hand we are calling on the authorities to enforce it, continuesGaëlle Haut. And as such, we already regret the many delays that have been granted and which mean that certain vegetables will continue to be offered with packaging, with plastic packaging until 2026. Even though historically and for a good number of ‘between them the sale in bulk has been done for years without problem in many shops, including in mass distribution in France. “
Prohibition on destroying unsold non-food items
In France, it is now prohibited to destroy unsold non-food items for producers and distributors as of January 1. This therefore concerns clothing, furniture, or even toys. A measure which is intended to be anti-waste and which could encourage donations to associations helping the poorest.
Collect unsold items rather than being burned or thrown away. This is the hope of these associations. And it is on the right track. In 2021, companies prepared for this new law. As a result, the Agency for donation in kind, ADN claims to have received twice as many products as in 2019.
The potential is substantial. Clothing and shoes represent a total of 1.6 billion euros of items for French companies. 4.3 billion for all sectors combined according to the Ecological Transition Agency.
In donations to associations, some sectors are more advanced than others. This is the case with cosmetics. DNA recovers nearly 70% of its stocks from major brands. The Swedish group Essity, which owns the Nana or Lotus firms, claims that it redistributes all its unsold products to associations.
But this French anti-waste law is not a law to help the most deprived. Most brands could recycle their unsold items as well as resell them to discounters. A solution to lose as little money as possible.
Fight against animal abuse
The welfare of farm animals should start to improve in 2022, with the measures for the protection and animal welfare announced in the government plan of 2020, in the wake of the agriculture and food law promulgated on the 1st. November 2018, whose decrees come into force this Saturday.
From January 1, live castration of farm piglets is prohibited. If pig farmers want to continue surgical castration, they will have to perform it using local anesthesia protocols set by the agriculture ministry.
Another ban: the crushing and gassing of male chicks, which affects 50 million chicks per year in France. As part of a partnership with Germany, launched in 2019, producers must at least having ordered, on January 1, 2022, the machines of ” sexing in ovo To determine the sex in the bud.
All domestic and wild animal farms must also appoint a referent in charge of animal welfare.
Regarding the rearing of laying hens in cages, the implementing decree for article L214 of the rural code, published in mid-December, restricts it without prohibiting it. And at European level, hens will have to wait to see their living conditions improve, following the European Commission decision to eliminate cages in 2027.
► Read also: Fight against animal abuse in France: Parliament adopts the bill