France aims to recover 75 percent of packaging waste by 2002

France's packaging waste compliance scheme, Eco-Emballages, has launched a multimedia advertising campaign to promote waste separation for recycling, in support of its aim to recover 75 percent of household packaging waste by 2002.

Eco-Emballages hopes to encourage citizens to separate their waste for recovery and recycling, with a campaign comprising a 45-second advert to be shown 128 times on national television, alongside advertisements in TV magazines, national papers and the specialist press, and a promotional website.

In 1998, some 19 million French citizens (approx one-third) separated their waste for separate collections, compared with 12 million in 1997. Eco-Emballages aims to further increase separate waste collections to cover 27 million people by the end of 1999.

Some 2 million tonnes (60.6 percent) of domestic packaging waste was recovered, and most of this was recycled (550,000 tonnes incinerated with energy recovery and 1.45 tonnnes recycled) in 1998. Eco-Emballages plans to increase the recovery rate to 66 percent and the recycling rate to 50 percent in 1999, and bring the total recovery rate to 75 percent by 2002.

According to Director General, Eric Guillon, “The French system for recovery of domestic packaging waste has passed the point of no return – one-half of domestic packaging will be recycled in 1999. The setting up / establishing stage is over. We are now in a new stage which will see packaging recovery on a national scale.”

Figures given are percentages of the total amount of domestic packaging waste originating from companies that are members of the Eco-Emballages scheme.

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