Decree Under the French Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy Law

Decree Under the French Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy Law

This text is a provision for a decree, implementing an obligation planned by an article of the French environment code. This article was created under the French AGEC (in English: Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy) Law. More details about the requirements will be defined with upcoming documents. Check out the Traceability Playbook to get expert insights on this law.

Overview 


What does this decree mean?

This decree implements the requirements planned by the Article 541-9-1 of the environment code. This article will require companies to inform consumers about the environmental characteristics of waste-generating products.  

This article concerns a wide range of products considered as waste-generating, including textile. Different requirements will apply to different product categories. In this summary, we will focus on the obligations that will apply to apparel and footwear.  

Who is impacted?

Producers, importers, and distributors of waste-generating consumer products in France will be concerned by this act if these products represent an annual turnover of more than 10M€ and a volume higher than 10 000 units.  

What are the critical dates to remember?  

  • The AGEC Law (in English: Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy) was adopted on February 10th, 2020 and this decree was published on April 29th, 2022.  

  • Some claims (see Article 223) will be banned directly after publication of this decree: April 30th, 2022.  

  • The disclosure requirements will progressively apply from January 1st, 2023**, depending on the amount of products sold on the French market that are concerned by the disclosure obligations (here all apparel and footwear products).  

 * ANNUAL TURNOVER AND VOLUME OF PRODUCTS SOLD IN FRANCE CONCERNED BY THE DISCLOSURE OBLIGATIONS  
** EXCEPT FOR PRODUCTS FOR WHICH THE LAST UNIT WAS PUT ON THE MARKET DURING Q1 2023.  

 

Requirements


General Principle
(Article 220)  

The environmental qualities and characteristics of waste generating products (mentioned in article L.541-9-1) are to be understood as characteristics that are supposed to inform the consumer on the conditions relating to a better prevention and gestion of waste. This applies to new consumer products put on the EU market.  

Disclosure Requirements for Textile (Article 221) 

All five requirements described below apply to apparel and footwear products. Some exceptions exist and some requirements apply to packaging as well. This will be indicated in the statements in italic.

These five requirements show what information will have to be provided to consumers, but the details about how it must be proven are not indicated yet. We can expect more precise documents to be published in order to guide brands in the implementation of these requirements.  

Recycled Material Content (also applies to packaging, does not apply to leather products)

The information must be disclosed in terms of global proportion in weight: “product containing at least X% recycled material”. 

Recyclability (also applies to packaging)

Recyclability information must be disclosed with the mention “mostly recyclable product” if the product fulfills all the following recyclability requirements.   

  • The ability to effectively collect waste at the state level  

  • The ability to sort the waste 

  • The absence of elements or substances that would disrupt the recycling process or limit the usability of the material once recycled  

  • The fact that the recycled material produced by the implemented recycling processes represents more than 50% of the weight of the collected waste. 

  • The ability to be recycled at industrial scale, including via a guarantee that the quality of the material obtained is sufficient to ensure that it will be used and that there is enough capacity to start an industrial recycling.   

If the product fulfills all these requirements and if the recycled material produced represents more than 95% of the weight of the collected waste, then the mention “entirely recyclable product” can be used.

Harmful Substances 

The presence of harmful substances must be disclosed with the mention “contains a harmful substance” if said substance is present at a concentration higher than 0.1% (in weight) in the product. The statement is followed by the name of all the harmful substances present in the product. The list of concerned substances are defined under the EU REACH regulation and can be found here.  

Microplastics 

Information regarding microplastic fibers shall appear with the following mention “the product rejects plastic microfibers in the environment during washing” if the product contains more than 50% of synthetic fibers by weight.  

Traceability 

Traceability information shall be disclosed by mentioning the country where each of the following steps has been conducted in the manufacturing process:  

  • For garments: WeavingDyeing / PrintingConfectioning  

  • For shoes: StitchingLastingFinishing 

Disclosure Method (Article 222) 

  • The information contained in the table above must be made available to the consumer at the moment of purchase in a dematerialized, freely, and easily accessible format.  

  • The data provided must be easily reusable digitally to allow aggregation. For that purpose, the information about every product concerned by the requirements must be uploaded on a dedicated webpage to allow direct queries as well as data extraction for possible automated treatment.   

Forbidden claims (Article 223) 

The mentions “biodegradable”, “environmentally friendly” or any equivalent claims are prohibited on new (not second hand) consumer products and packaging. This obligation is in force immediately (April 30th 2022). However, the products manufactured before publication of this decree (April 29th 2022) can be sold without complying to the obligation until January 1st 2023.  

 

Consequences

The amounts are not public yet but non-compliance to those requirements will most likely lead to administrative fines.

 

Risk Mitigation

The above obligations will require brands to gather very specific data about the value chain and the material composition of their products in order to create a proper product passport for their garments and shoes. Brands need to implement traceability to gain visibility on their suppliers down to the weaving stage and to keep track of all chemicals used in the manufacturing of the products.

How TrusTrace can help?  

Brands using TrusTrace can fulfil these requirements using the Supplier Mapping and Product Traceability modules, that allows the identification of the suppliers that have contributed to the manufacturing of a specific product. The Certified Material Compliance solution enables brand to easily track the % of recycled content of their products. The TrusTrace platform is designed to aggregate different sets of information from the supply chain in order to feed into the product passport required by French Legislation and Regulators. Get in touch with a TrusTrace expert today to explore how TrusTrace can help your brands scale out traceability efforts.

Trace smarter. Trace faster.

Please note: At TrusTrace, we want to keep you informed on laws and regulations, but this information should not be considered or used as legal advice.

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