Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy
The French Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy n°2020-105 (known as the AGEC law) has been published in February 2020. The objective of this law is to improve reuse and recycling, and to reduce plastic consumption. It aims to gradually transform the current linear way of producing, consuming and managing the waste into a circular economy. The law includes about a hundred of measures organized around 5 main axes:
- Phasing-out of disposable plastic
- Better informing consumers
- Fighting against waste and promote reuse
- Acting against planned obsolescence
- Better producing
How Will this Law Impact Cosmetic Products Put on the French Market?
This law will have several impacts on the cosmetic industry, as for example the interdiction of destroying unsold products, increasing the fraction of recycled material in packaging, promoting products sold in bulk, informing consumers on the environmental characteristics of the products, etc. Most of these measures will come into force after January 1st, 2022.
This Information Letter will focus on the three first actions that will impact the labeling of cosmetic products. They aim to make sorting more effective through a single logo and sorting instructions:
- Obligation to display the Triman logo on the packaging from January 1st, 2022
- Sorting instructions to be displayed on the packaging from January 1st, 2022
- Removal any other signs that may confuse consumers regarding the sorting rules from January 1st, 2022
Triman logo indicates that at least one of the packaging items is recyclable. This logo exists in France since 2012, without an obligation to display it directly on the packaging: it can get dematerialized (for example only on the internet site).
However, from January 1st, 2022 it should be displayed on every packaging that can be recycled, as per Article 17 of the AGEC law.
Moreover, precise sorting instructions should also be available. If different packaging parts have different sorting instructions, these must be detailed separately. The Implementing Decree is pending and should give more practical information and specify where these instructions should be displayed: on the packaging itself or dematerialized? This Decree will probably grant transition periods to enable clearing of existing stocks for products placed on the French market before January 1st, 2022.
Article 62 of the AGEC law states that a financial penalty should be imposed for any marking or sign that can be confusing in regards to the sorting rules or the waste amount of the product. The Ministerial Order (Arrêté du 30 Novembre 2020) on signs and markings that can bring a confusion on sorting rules has been published on December 24th 2020 and it lays down that any sign representing 2 or more coiled arrows in a circle are confusing, with the exception of:
- The Triman logo
- Logos associated with the product brand or the distributing company
- Regulated signs from the Member states that inform the consumer that the product is recyclable or bears sorting instructions
The Green Dot is therefore affected by this national provision. Green Dot logo:
The financial penalty for any product bearing the Green Dot will be applicable from January 1st, 2022, instead of April 1st as first foreseen, as decided by the Council of State Ordinance of March 15th 2021. Transition periods will be granted. They will be updated according to the new application date.
Recommendation from Biorius Experts
BIORIUS recommends to
- Delete the Green Dot from your packaging as soon as possible (except if the same packaging is also sold in Cyprus and Spain, as the Green dot is still mandatory in these countries)
- For products that do not bear the Triman logo, wait for the publication of the texts clarifying the sorting instructions rules before adding the Triman logo on the packaging labels (expected for the second quarter 2021)
Please note that the compliance to all these national obligations, are under the responsibility of the person who put the product into the French market. Biorius remains at your disposal for any questions related to this topic and we will ensure that you are informed about the latest updates and all regulatory developments related to the AGEC Law. However, we invite the cosmetic brands to check with their importers or distributors to ensure compliance with these requirements.
Ms. Stéphanie Annet
EU Regulatory Supervisor
If you are looking for other topics that will influence your European cosmetics business. Biorius invite you to visit the blog about regulatory topics