“Glass, plastic: who is blocking the return of the deposit? », on France 5: Hugo Clément targets industrialists, at the risk of discouraging the general public

A cameraman films a cameraman who films Hugo Clément

“Glass, plastic: who is blocking the return of the deposit? », on France 5: Hugo Clément targets industrialists, at the risk of discouraging the general public

A cameraman films a cameraman who films Hugo Clément. Putting yourself out there – carrying a crate of bottles, trying to enter private land, etc. – has become the trademark of the co-producer and presenter of “Sur le front”, the magazine which denounces the environmental aberrations of our consumer society.

We might as well put up with it, especially since it is now tackling the essential subject of recycling plastic and glass, two sectors in which France does not shine, with 23% of its plastics recycled, compared to 56%. 3% in Slovakia, 51.4% in Spain and 37.6% in the European Union. The approach is commendable, since it is supposed to convince viewers of the need to speed up the return of the deposit. However, it is not without risk.

Let's move on to some approximations, such as "the deposit in France worked very well until the year 2000", stated in the comments - said instructions fell into disuse from the end of the 1960s.

Let us instead point out the report on the efficient deposit system specific to Alsace and that carried out at Uzaje (formerly SolZero), a start-up founded in 2019 and chaired by Emmanuel Auberger. This former marketing director, then general wine director at Saint-Gobain Containers, happily converted to the industrial washing of glass bottles for reuse. The sector has a bright future.

Inefficient recycling in France

The government has thus just abandoned the idea of ​​deposits for recycling, to promote the deposit for reuse, setting an objective – but on a voluntary basis – of 10% of packaging reused by 2027. In the meantime, only seventy supermarkets practice deposits in France… out of the 30,000 large food stores recorded by INSEE in 2020.

Which brings us back to recycling. In order to demonstrate its ineffectiveness for plastics in France, Hugo Clément and Kako Naït Ali, doctor of chemistry, spend a large part of the show following a pot of yogurt, from a yellow trash can to its final destination... Valencia, Spain. The yogurt pot was not chosen by chance. It is mainly composed of polystyrene (plastic for which there is no recycling channel in France) and a lid which contains aluminum. Only 3% of the 60,000 tonnes of yogurt pots collected in the country become yogurt pots again, the rest being used as fuel, among others for cement factories.

As for glass recycling, “count on Mélisande [Seyzériat, a militant activist from the Zero Waste association] to show you that it is not so virtuous,” announces the voiceover… Can therefore do better, including in terms of sorting, the first act of recycling. However, “if people are not convinced that there is an interest in sorting, they will not sort,” recalls Kako Naït Ali. This is the pitfall to avoid.