Over seven million reflectors are fitted to bikes every year - are government requirements just a giant waste of plastic?

A further 1.88 million bells are produced - many of which are ditched before the inaugural ride

Image of a reflector on a wheel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Almost all countries require certain fittings to be applied to bicycles before they're sold. In the UK, a fully built bike requires a front reflector, a rear reflector, as well as front and rear wheel reflectors, and a good old-fashioned bell. This has been the case since 2010.   

Requirements are similar in America. In France, even working lights - more often than not the cheapest and most chuckable kind - must be fitted.

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