France Just Became The First Country To Ban Plastic Cups, Plates, And Utensils

Beer pong players, beware! The days of France's red solo cups are soon coming to an end.

Businesses in the country will have until January 1, 2020 to get rid of all their plastic cups, plates, and utensils unless they're compostable or at least partly made of bio-sourced materials.

The new law comes as a part of the country's Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, a legislation that recently also banned the use of plastic bags in grocery stores and markets as of July 2016. The idea is to promote a "circular economy" of waste disposal, "from product design to recycling."

Currently, France throws away over 4.7 billion plastic cups each year with just 1 percent of them being recycled, according to the newspaper Les Echos. And that's just cups!

As French President François Hollande puts it, the longterm goal of the ban is "to make France … an exemplary nation in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diversifying its energy model and increasing the deployment of renewable energy sources."

While some supporters of the ban wish it would be introduced to the country as early as 2017, some aren't so keen on the idea of no plastic and say the outlaw violates existing European Union legislation. Eamonn Bates, the secretary general of Pack2Go Europe, is one of them.

"We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law,” he said. “If they don’t, we will."

But as of now, the ban remains in place.