Besides the Green Dot and the “crossed-out garbage can”, the Triman Logo is probably the most important recycling symbol in e-commerce. At least for online shops which ship to France. However, many sellers still don’t seem to know about it. What is important and how to use the Triman Logo? We’ll explain.
The French Decree No. 2014-1577 has made it mandatory from 1 January 2015 to print the Triman Logo on recyclable products and packaging sold to consumers in France. The main reason for this symbol is to make it easier for consumers to understand how to sort their garbage. Products and packaging with the Triman Logo on them are meant to be collected in separate waste streams, such as paper or recyclable plastics. If the symbol is not there, the product can be disposed of in the general waste. However, it is not quite as simple as it sounds.
What must be marked with the Triman Logo?
The general logic since 2015 goes as follows:
Important: There are some major changes for the Triman Logo soon. The obligation to mark products with the symbol are now implemented in the French environment law (Code de l’environnement Art. L541-9-3) and will enter into force as from 1 January 2022. From that date onwards, electronic goods or their packaging will also have to be marked with the symbol, along with the crossed-out-garbage-bin.
All in all, one can say that the Triman Logo is mandatory on all (household-) packaging, textiles and shoes, furniture, tires, and paper products. At least, when they are recyclable and meant to end up in household-waste. From 1 January 2022, the Triman regulations also apply to electronic goods, batteries and similar.
What if I cannot print the Triman Logo on my products or packaging?
In many cases it is not quite as easy to have the symbol on products or packaging, especially for online shops form abroad. For instance, if the seller itself is not the manufacturer and has no influence on the product’s marking. Or because the same packaging is used internationally.
Until January 2022:
For such cases, the French Decree No. 2014-1577 stipulates that the Triman Logo can be displayed on the website instead. It can either be directly on the product page, or on a separate subpage that informs customers about the recyclability of packaging and products. Besides the Triman recycling symbol, this page should state clearly which products and packaging are recyclable. Any information about the material and how to dispose of it is helpful. Since this legal obligation is specifically for the French market, the text should be in French as well. Even on an English website, having the information in English-only would not be sufficient for compliance.
If all your products and packaging are recyclable, you could use the following text for your webshop:
Since sustainable shopping is a high priority for many customers in e-commerce today, it is generally a good idea to have a subpage that informs about recycling and why your products are sustainable.
From January 2022 the Triman Logo must be directly on product or packaging
A display on the website or product page is no longer sufficient – you need to display the symbol (including recycling information) directly on your products or packaging. However, printing the logo on manuals or documents that come with your products is also possible.
In order to always stay up-to-date with European packaging regulations – also with regard to the planned changes of the EU packaging waste directive in 2021 – we recommend using our compliance-service.
Triman Logo vector image for download
You can find a Triman Logo vector file (.svg format) for download here: Triman Logo Vector Download
(Right-click –> “Save as…” –> “Scalable Vector Graphics”)
This way you can use the symbol on packaging, product labels, and on your website. More detailed manuals as well as different image formats (JPG, Adobe Illustrator, etc.) are available to our customers. Simply select your manual for France in the member Dashboard and you will find the download link there.
How to apply the Triman logo on packaging from 2022 onward?
In September 2021, the French packaging waste take-back schemes have published new guidelines on how the Triman Logo needs to be printed on packaging in France from January 2022. This is to ensure that a common format is used for the symbol and sorting advice. A transition period is in place until 9 March 2023. Afterwards, packaging that is not compliant with the new Triman signage rules may no longer be placed on the Frencht market.
Triman Logo plus sorting advice
The new format requires a sorting advice, which can be in text (French!) or symbols, or both. If the products are not exclusively for the French market, the country code “FR” should also be applied. This is to avoid confusion for customers in other (French-speaking) countries, where different sorting rules may apply.
Generally, all packaging that is not from glass should be disposed of in the “yellow bin” in France. Glass packaging, on the other hand, goes into the green glass container. This makes sorting, as well as labelling very straight-forward.
If packaging consists of multiple parts, the elements and their respective way of sorting should be displayed separately. For instance:
The Triman Logo may never be smaller than 6mm. It must be printed in black and white, whereas the sorting advice can be either in color or in black and white. Glass bottles for beverages do not require the Triman signage at all, although it may be used optionally.
Our customers get the detailed Triman Guidelines from the French take-back schemes as part of their ecosistant manual for France.
What are possible penalties for non-compliance?
The Decree No.. 2014-1577 itself does not state any penalties for not using the Triman Logo. However, according to the applicable environment law in France (Art. L171-8 & L173-1) a warning can be issued by the responsible authorities. Thereafter, continuous non-compliance can result in financial penalties of up to 100,000 € or up to 2 years in prison. We recommend to not even take the risk and get compliant now. Customers of our compliance service for France will have access to a detailed manual, and for premium customers we offer direct consultation for fulfilment of all compliance obligations.
Pro-tip: You can also use the Triman pictogram internationally. This way, you will not have to use specific packaging or product labels just for France, but can use the same ones globally. Usage of the Triman Logo is license-free in France. And since the symbol has no official use outside of France, usage is also license-free in all other countries.
What else must I be aware of when shipping to France?
Besides using the Triman Logo, online retailers must license their packaging in France and pay an annual recycling fee. The main principal is more or less the same as in Germany or most other European countries, but local requirements can differ quite a lot. We can also offer easy step-by-step guides for up to 30 countries, tailored for your business. This way, you will not lose time and can be 100% sure to fulfil your Europe-wide compliance; in France and all other countries you ship to. Feel free to contact us or purchase our services directly.