Joint Industry Association Objects to France’s Recycling Legislation

The Joint Industry Association has released a press release to state the concerns of 21 trade associations with respect to the Triman legislation in France. The Triman legislation is a common set of symbols on recyclable products in France to simplify waste sorting activities and lift France’s recycling rate.

The Joint Industry Association has called for (1) the French Government to either suspend the current initiative or make it voluntary; (2) the EU authorities to review the compatibility of the Triman legislation with global trade and internal market rules; and, (3) the Commission to launch an infringement procedure against France, in the event France adopts the current draft decree.

Drafted by the French environment ministry and given approval by the European Commission in October 2012, the measure has raised concerns from countries exporting within the EU Single Market. Industry players say the addressed measure would become a barrier to trade, as packaging would have to be made specifically for the French market. Plus, the measure is also claimed to be very expensive to implement, failing to fulfill its objectives.

The Joint Industry Association noted that the Triman measure will cause dozens of negative impacts on businesses, including administrative burdens and costs for relabeling or repackaging products. The Association estimated it would cost the printing industry $0.34 per sticker, or $11 million overall in the printer cartridge industry. It was also argued that no concrete measures have been seen to suggest current recycling fees will be reduced to balance the new costs as was asserted by the French authorities.

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