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France's government has backed away from instituting a tax on common household products — from plastic forks to disposable diapers — that aren't environmentally friendly.
President Nicolas Sarkozy's office says he is opposed to taxing such products now because many French are already worried about their declining purchasing power. But he asked Cabinet ministers Friday to gather a working group to discuss what household products might be taxed in the future.
France's ecology minister said this weekend that the government was considering a "picnic tax" on disposable dishes and other products that have greener alternatives. A similar tax plan is already being used to encourage French people to drive greener cars.