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.
What is the Triman Logo?
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 our digital compliance consulting service will show you where and how to download the graphics. Please be aware that in order to download and use the symbols, a licensing agreement with one or more French EPR schemes may be necessary, and that additional costs may apply. You can learn all about your EPR obligations from our service.
Triman Logo Update 2022
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.
The only two exceptions from this strict deadline of 9 March 2023 are:
- packaging produced before 9 September 2022 and acquired by 9 March 2023 may be used and the products sold even after 9 March 2023.
- for products affected by other EPR laws in France (electronics, batteries, textiles, furniture, etc.) which have their own deadlines for the use of the Triman Logo, the later deadline applies. Read more about this further below in this article.
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.
The Triman marking for other waste streams
It gets more complicated for producers and sellers of products which themselves are subject to EPR legislation in France. Typically, that is electronics, batteries, textile products, shoes, furniture, and since 2022 also toys, sports equipment, DIY, and gardening tools.
In this case, both the Triman Logo for household packaging and for the specific waste stream are required on packaging. Alternatively, the product itself can be marked.
Triman Logo for WEEE and batteries
For electronics, batteries, but also lamps or solar-panels, there are unique marking obligations with the Info-tri in France. This sorting advice aims to inform consumers about the separate collection and possible disposal sites for WEEE (“waste of electrical and electronic equipment”).
Unlike for other waste streams, the Triman Logo can be replaced by the WEEE symbol of the crossed out wheel-bin. The Info-tri sorting advice, however, is mandatory for France. If you also market your products outside of France, you must also include the letters “FR” in the marking.
In spite of the general deadline for household packaging, there is an extended deadline for electronic products: Any electronics produced without the Infotri marking until 15 December 2022 can be sold in France up until 15 June 2023; after this date, the sorting signage is mandatory.
We offer more detailed guidelines and download-links for the template files to all our customers in the WEEE-manual of our digital consulting service for France and Europe. If you need more extensive consulting, feel free to contact our experts.
Triman Logo for Textiles and Shoes
Since clothing, household linen, and footwear sold direct-to-consumer in France are subject to EPR-obligations, these products also must be marked with the Triman Logo. An extension period is in place for products not marked with the symbol if they are produced by 28 February 2023. Existing stock may be sold in France until 28 August 2023; after this date the Infotri is mandatory. Unlike electronics, where the deadline for the packaging symbol was adjusted to match the later deadline of the product itself, packaging of textiles (e.g., polybags etc.) should already be marked with the household-packaging-Triman now.
The minimum requirements are the Triman Logo, pictograms of the product category and of a recycling container, as well as the link to the website quefairedesmedechets.fr (eng. “what to do with my waste”) which has further information for consumers. For textiles as well, the country-code “FR” needs to be displayed to show what this sorting signage is for France.
At ecosistant, we offer corresponding services for sellers of fashion and textile products in France.
Triman Logo for Furniture
The guidelines for an Infotri sorting advice for furniture items was published in 2021, which means that the household packaging deadlines are adjusted to the the deadlines of this products group. Any furniture produced after 9 December 2022 to be sold in France needs to have the Triman Logo with the correct sorting advice on its product or packaging. Already produced items without the marking may be sold until 9 June 2023.
Although there are less different variants of the sorting advice compared to those of household packaging, WEEE, or textiles, the Triman Logo for furniture does have it’s specialties. For instance, retailers specialized in furniture need to include the text “Donnez ou recyclez vos meubles”, whereas the one shown above is for online shops which do not specialize in furniture.
Since 2022, the logo and sorting advice must be displayed directly on the product itself, or in immediate proximity of the product, for example on its packaging or product manual. Display on the website alone is no longer allowed, although the additional display in the webshop is even encouraged.
France with its Triman Logo goes a different direction from other EU member states, increasing complexity particularly for international e-commerce in 2022. More unique guidelines are expected for other waste streams, such as toys or sports equipment in the near future.
But also (some) other European countries do have their own legislation on mandatory recycling symbols. In order to always be up-to-date, we recommend using our digital consulting service for All-of-Europe:
What are possible penalties for non-compliance?
According to Art. L541-9-4 of the French AGEC-law, any violation of the marking and information obligations leads to financial penalties. These fines can be up to 3,000€ for natural and 15,000€ for juristic persons.
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.