One of the objectives of the French government with the adoption of the Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy (AGEC) was to better inform French consumers about the sorting and recycling of products. It is true that consumers sometimes had trouble finding their way around what could or could not be recycled and especially in which bins…
From March 9, 2023, all household packaging must therefore include clear and harmonized signage indicating how the product must be sorted and recycled. Other deadlines are provided, as we will see later, for specific products.
You will find in this article a summary of the following essential points, on the entry into force of the INFO-TRI labeling in France:
- what does the law provide?
- Who is affected by this measure?
- the dates of entry into force according to the products
- exempted products
- and elsewhere in Europe?
What does the law provide?
A single mandatory logo
The Act provides for a series of measures to facilitate sorting.
A unique logo must be affixed to all products. It will indicate that the product should not be thrown into the household waste bin and that it can be sorted. This is the famous Triman.
A sorting instruction
Decree 2021-835 of June 29, 2021 specifies the sorting instructions that must be used depending on the packaging category.
This sorting instruction, which comes in the form of a cartridge, is inseparable from the Triman logo. It indicates how the different parts of the product should be sorted and recycled.
This instruction consists of two distinct elements:
- one or more pictograms representing all the elements of the packaging separated by a + sign (bottle, box, caps, sweater, etc.)
- the destination of the packaging represented by a pictogram (sorting bin, glass sorting, donations, etc.)
A defined graphic charter
It is of course not possible to draw or insert these 2 elements as you wish on your packaging… These must comply with a graphic charter clearly defined by the implementing decree.
Fortunately Nadège, our design expert, will be there to create or update your labels if you wish. In the meantime here is some useful information.
The colour …
The Triman logo must always be represented in black except in the event of a major visibility problem.
The sorting instruction can be represented as desired, in black and white or in color with a predefined Pantone. The authorized colors are green for glass products and yellow for non-glass products.
If your packaging consists of two or more parts comprising glass and another material, the 2 colors must appear on the sorting instruction cartridge with the color corresponding to the sorting of each part.
Size and fonts
The Triman logo must have a minimum size of 10 mm for its standard shape and 6 mm for its compact shape.
The font used will be for the packaging elements of Helvetica Neue 77 Bold condensed in capitals. The optional information notice located under the cartridge must be Helvetica Neue 67 Medium condensed oblique.
Representation of packaging elements
It is possible to represent the packaging elements by:
- a text + a pictogram
- a single text
- a single pictogram
A library of different pictograms representing most of the existing packaging (food and non-food) is available if you have a customer area for recycling organizations in France. Otherwise it is possible to consult us so that we can produce your labels directly.
The representation of the destination
These are mainly the sorting bin, glass sorting, containers, associations or collection points.
They may be represented by:
- a text + pictogram
- a single pictogram
Examples of a condiment jar
We can clearly see the 2 elements that make up the packaging: the lid and the glass jar.
One goes in the sorting bin and the other in the glass recycling bin, that’s their destination.
We have as a sign on the label:Triman + Cartridge = design of the lid with the sorting bin in yellow and the jar for sorting glass in green
Who is concerned ?
All manufacturers of products sold on the French market or made in France and exported to Europe must indicate this new information on their packaging.
This concerns both food and non-food products such as clothing, batteries, electronic devices, leaflets, medicines, cosmetics, furniture, sporting goods, DIY, tobacco products or even ships. pleasure, etc.
In France, on September 9, 2021, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Ministry of Economy and Finance validated the new recycling signage for household packaging.
A period of 12 months, i.e. until September 9, 2022, was granted to manufacturers to bring their packaging into compliance, even if the marking obligation is made compulsory from February 1, 2022.
Thus all packaging ordered from September 9, 2022 must include the new marking.
But what about packaging manufactured before September 9 and in stock at manufacturers or distributors?
An additional tolerance of 6 months was granted for the disposal of these stocks.
Thus from March 9, 2023, all packaging must bear the new signage without any other possible derogation.
Papers will have the same deadline as household packaging, i.e. March 9, 2023.
Furniture items will have until June 9, 2023.
A delay to sell stocks until June 15, 2023 will be tolerated for:
- electrical and electronic equipment
- portable batteries and accumulators
- small fire extinguishers
- photovoltaic panels
You will have until August 1, 2023 to sell your stocks of:
- textiles, linens and footwear
- tobacco products
Unused medicines will have until August 7, 2023 to be sold without Tri-man labeling and until December 7, 2023 for those subject to stock obligation.
And finally, piercing care waste will have until August 28, 2023.
Article 17 of the AGEC Law indicates that all products intended for households must be subject to recycling signage …
“… excluding household glass beverage containers …”
If your packaging therefore already had a sorting indication, you will have to remove it or modify it with the new Info-sorting signage before March 9, 2023.
The implementing decree for the law indicates the implementation procedures and in particular specific provisions for small packaging.
There are 2 different cases depending on the size of the package:
- packaging of less than 10 cm2 (the largest side or the overall surface): They are exempt from the Triman and the sorting instruction if no other document is provided with the product and these are available in a dematerialized manner .
- packaging between 10 and 20 cm2: They must include the Triman but are exempt from the sorting instruction provided that the latter is available in a dematerialized way
Cylindrical or spherical packaging
The same applies to small cylindrical or spherical packaging.
If the surface of their largest side is less than 20 cm2, total dematerialization is possible.
If the surface of the largest of the sides is between 20 and 40 cm2, the Triman must always appear on the packaging but it is possible to dematerialize the Info-tri cartridge.
And elsewhere in Europe…?
Currently, this is a national law measure; therefore it only applies on French territory
It will therefore be necessary to examine whether the other countries have also set up information measures on the means of recycling in their own country.
But beware: if currently there are no harmonized recycling rules in Europe, nothing prevents the European Commission from adopting harmonized signage at Union level which would de facto replace French signage in the years to come. This hypothesis would be all the more plausible given the lack of knowledge of the end consumer in this area.
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