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 goes as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.