France Bans Unlimited Soda Refills

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30 Jan 2017 --- All-you-can-drink free soda refills in restaurants and other public eateries around France have been banned as a new law comes into force legislating against unlimited sugary soft drinks being offered as part of a promotion.

The so-called “soda fountains” that can often be found in family-orientated restaurants in many other countries including the UK, have come under much closer scrutiny in France. 

As part of a drive against obesity, particularly in children, the French government introduced new legislation prohibiting the sale of unlimited soft drinks at a fixed price or offering them on an unlimited basis free of charge.

This self-service promotional strategy is often used as a way to draw in families with bottomless buckets of soda offers to accompany meals. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) says sugary drinks should be taxed as a way to drive down obesity and associated health problems. 

Although the number of people in France suffering obesity is below the European average, numbers are rising and the government is clamping down. 

The new legislation is targeting soft drinks that contain added sugar or sweeteners as well as sports drinks. 

The prohibition came into force on January 18, 2017 and also overs school canteens and fast-food establishments. Anyone ignoring the law faces prosecution and heavy fines. 

The latest decree in France follows a tax on sugary soft drinks that has been running since 2012. 

IKEA is believed to have removed its drink foundations from stores across the country, while fast-food casual restaurant Five Guys, has added microchips to cups that automatically switch off the drinks’ tap if customers try to get a refill. 

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