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PARIS, Aug 13, 2018 (AFP) — France plans to introduce a penalty system next year that would increase the costs of consumer goods with packaging made of non-recycled plastic, part of a pledge to use only recycled plastic nationwide by 2025, an environment ministry official said on Sunday.

Brune Poirson, secretary of state for ecological transition, said the move was one of several to be implemented in coming years, including a deposit-refund scheme for plastic bottles.

“Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy,” she told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Under the new plan, products with recycled plastic packaging could cost up to 10 per cent less, Poirson said.

“When there’s a choice between two bottles, one made of recycled plastic and the other without, the first will be less expensive,” she said.

“When non-recycled plastic will cost more, that will eliminate much of the excessive packaging,” Poirson said.

Flore Berlingen of the association Zero Waste France told AFP: “We’re hoping that companies play along so that clients aren’t the ones penalised” by the new measure.

Emmanuel Guichard of the Elipso federation of plastic packaging makers gave a cautious welcome to the French plan.

“For bottles, giving consumers a choice is possible. But we can’t forget other items — today there’s no recycled plastic available for yogurt pots,” he said.

Ubiquitous images on social media of marine fauna suffocated by plastics, as well as initiatives such as “plastic attacks” — which see shoppers dump all the packaging of their purchases outside supermarkets — have begun to spur political responses around the world.

The French plan is “part of the solution, albeit incomplete, since it is only about recycling and not reducing plastic,” remarked Fanny Vismara, an organiser of “plastic attacks” in France.

She noted that glass, unlike plastic, is “infinitely recyclable”.

Berlingen added: “Recycling is necessary but not sufficient. We absolutely must cut off the flow and have more stringent measures against over-packaging and disposable objects.”

France currently recycles around 25 per cent of its plastic, according to the magazine 60 Million Consumers.

It has already outlawed single-use plastic bags in supermarkets unless they can be composted, hoping to encourage people to shop with their own bags.

 

The French government also aims to increase taxes on burying trash in landfills while cutting taxes for recycling operations, hoping to address the growing problem of tonnes of plastic finding its way into oceans.

 

The Carrefour and Leclerc supermarket chains have said they will quit selling plastic straws in the coming months, ahead of a law outlawing them by 2020.

 

The European Commission also wants to sharply cut down on single-use plastic objects, announcing in May rules requiring the use of alternative materials and incentives for businesses.

 

Plastic production has soared more than 40 per cent globally over the past 10 years, mainly for packaging.

CAIRO, Aug 6 , 2018 (MENA) - Environment Minister Yasmine Foaad has asserted that Egypt is ready to host the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity - COP 14 which is considered one of the most important conferences in the environmental domain.

In a press conference on Monday at the Environmental Cultural and Educational Centre (Cairo House) in Fustat, a Cairo district, the minister said the gathering which will be held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Sharm El Sheikh in November, will be attended by representatives of 196 countries.

She said the conference will tackle the results of the 13th session in Mexico including the biological diversity in the farming, fish and forest sectors.

During the conference, Sharm, El Sheikh will be declared a green city, she said, adding that the gathering will tackle five sectors to be merged with biological diversity, namely energy, mining, industry, infrastructure and health.

CAIRO, August 3, 2018 (MENA) – Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad discussed with Kazakh Ambassador to Egypt Arman Issagaliyev means of activating bilateral cooperation in the environmental field.

Fouad welcomed broadening cooperation between Egypt and Kazakhstan in the environment field and urged that a working team be formed to draw up mutual interests, priorities of cooperation in addition to a mechanism for exchanging relevant expertise, the Ministry of Environment said in a statement Friday.

The statement noted that a memorandum of understanding is set to be signed by the ministries of environment in both countries.

Meanwhile, the Kazakh ambassador highlighted the importance of Cairo’s regional and international role in various fields, particularly with regard to environment.

CAIRO, July 25, 2018 (MENA) - Environment Ministry vets returned an endangered sea turtle to its natural habitat in one of the beaches of the Red Sea city of Ras Sedr in South Sinai.

This comes within the framework of the ministry's efforts to combat illegal trafficking of wildlife and maintain biological diversity.

In a statement on Wednesday, Environment Minister Yassmin Fouad said that all necessary measures were taken to guarantee the safety of the turtle when it returns back to sea.

A citizen has informed the ministry that a shop in Ras Sedr was selling a sea turtle but the owner of the shop did not know that selling endangered sea species is illegal.

The ministry urged the public to help in protecting endangered animals to maintain the biological diversity and protect natural wealth via reporting any attempt of illegal trafficking of these creatures on its hotline 19808. 

 

CAIRO, July 25 , 2018 \(MENA) - Environment Minister Yassmin Fuad said on Wednesday the ministry is drafting a plan to relocate random garbage dumps throughout  the nation to preserve the urban outlook of the country and mitigate public health and environment risks.

The minister made the remarks during a meeting with head of the Menouf council Tarek el Warrak to discuss developing Menouf dump in the Nile Delta.

Talks tackled underway technical studies to set up a plant to recycle solid waste in Menouf.

The minister said 58,000 tonnes of waste were removed from Menouf dump in preparation for turning the place into a recycling plant to guarantee the best exploitation of the country's resources. 

An estimated 44.8 per cent of Egyptian households dispose of their garbage by dumping it onto the street, while 55.2 per cent dispose garbage through private companies and garbage collectors, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

In a 2017 report on garbage disposal, CAPMAS said that the percentage of safe garbage disposal in urban areas was 76.9 per cent, compared to 36.9 per cent in rural areas.

CAIRO, July 15, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Minister of Environment Dr Yassmin Fouad left here for New York on Sunday to take part in the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), slated for July 18 at the UN headquarters.

Three work sessions will be held on the fringe of the forum on protection of eco-diversity, Fouad told reporters before departure, adding that the forum will tackle protection of biological diversity and marine life, which is the 15th target of sustainable development.

A number of issues, such as investment in biological diversity, will be discussed during the forum along with a number of solutions to protect life on earth, she added.

The minister will meet with a number of officials during her visit including the vice secretary general of the UN, the director general of the European Commission and South Africa's environment minister.

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