France's 'Picnic Tax' Making Foes Antsy

'Green' levy aims to cut down on use of plastic forks, paper plates
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2008 3:51 PM CDT
France could be in for some empty picnic tables.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A picnic tax? “We are doing it,” France’s environment minister said today, apparently unabashed at such a villainous plan. Actually, the levy isn’t as dastardly as it sounds—it’s actually a tax on the plastic and paper plates and utensils commonly used in picnics, the Independent reports. The goal is to reduce the nearly 800 pounds of trash each Frenchman generates annually.

This isn’t the first “green” tax France has enacted, but it has been one of the more hotly debated, with the finance ministry strongly objecting. “No one wants to pay more to picnic,” said one serial picnicker, who nevertheless concedes the point: “Plastic is very ugly at a picnic and throwaway plastic is terrible for the environment.”