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It's 'Block Friday' in This Country

French lawmakers, activists worry about overconsumption
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2019 10:29 AM CST
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A woman walks past a sticker promoting the Black Friday in the business district of Paris on Friday.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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(Newser) – More than 200 brands are boycotting Black Friday in France this year. But come next year, there might not be a Black Friday in the country at all. A French legislative committee on Monday approved an amendment to an anti-waste bill that proposes to ban Black Friday and other "aggressive commercial practices" said to cause "resource waste" and "overconsumption," reports CBS News. Retail sales periods are regulated by the government in France, with one occurring in the summer and another in January, reports the Local. Black Friday, which came to France about seven years ago, is not technically considered a sale, though it would be under the bill backed by Minister of the Ecological and Solidary Transition Elizabeth Borne.

"We cannot both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and call for a consumer frenzy," she says. “We must consume better." Signs of support are evident as "Block Friday" protests take place across France. Protesters gathered at Amazon's French headquarters north of Paris Friday, per the BBC, while CBS describes protesters using old refrigerators and microwaves to block access to an Amazon warehouse in Bretigny-sur-Orge. Some held signs reading, "For the climate, for jobs, stop expansion, stop overproduction!" France's e-commerce union has condemned the amendment, under which companies caught violating sales laws could face a $330,000 fine. Officials could also see up to two years in prison under the amendment, to be debated in the National Assembly next month. (In the US, this will be the shortest holiday shopping season in years.)

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