The obligation to incorporate recycled materials

Published on 1st Dec 2021

Under the French Environmental Code, in order to achieve waste prevention and management objectives set by national law or European Union law and to support recycling channels, the placing on the market of certain categories of products and materials may be subject to compliance with a minimum rate of incorporation of recycled materials.

A decree will specify the methods for calculating the rates and the procedures for monitoring compliance with this obligation. To date, France has notified the European Commission of a draft decree defining these incorporation rates for recycled plastic in beverage bottles.

Compliance with these objectives is ensured by a bonus-malus system. To this end, producers register with eco-organizations according to their sector. They pay these organizations eco-contributions, the amount of which will vary depending on the percentage of recycling materials contained in the products. For example, if the producer incorporates recycled materials in its products, it benefits from a bonus, therefore the financial contribution it must pay will be reduced. Conversely, if the products do not comply with the measures to prevent and manage waste, the producer's contribution is increased. 

Operators who fail to comply with the targets may be fined by the Minister for the Environment, the amount of which takes into account the seriousness of the failures and the profits derived from failing to comply. This amount may not exceed, €1,500 for an individual and €7,500 for a company per unit or per tonne of product concerned. The Minister in charge of the environment may also order the payment of a daily penalty of up to €20,000 from a date set by the penalty decision until the prescribed measures have been complied with.


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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