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France to End 'Scandalous' Practice That 'Defies Reason'

Nation to end dumping of unsold consumer goods worth hundreds of millions yearly
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2019 3:46 PM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/choice76)

(Newser) – France has a wasteful problem that "defies reason," says the country's prime minister, adding that companies will soon be forced to end the "scandalous' practice. Edouard Philippe's remarks Wednesday were regarding the country's disposal of brand-new consumer goods that don't sell, an unused stockpile that's worth about $900 million per year, reports the New York Times. France 24 puts the number closer to $730 million. Either way, it's a staggering figure, and a new measure that's part of a larger economic bill to be brought before the French Cabinet in July would instead require non-food items such as electronics, clothes, and cosmetics to be reused, recycled, or donated. Those who flout the law could possibly incur financial penalties or time behind bars.

The Times notes the automatic dumping is usually done to make room for new products in warehouses or to keep consumers from getting their hands on goods for super-cheap prices. Amazon and luxury brands like Burberry are among those coming under fire for the practice, which Philippe said "is shocking to common sense." AFP notes the initiative comes on the heels of victory by "green" parties in last month's elections for the European Parliament: In France, the environmentally conscious EELV party got almost 13.5% of the vote, placing third, per ABC News. The bill is expected to be put into effect sometime between 2021 and 2023. (Read more France stories.)

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