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Is the Triman logo tripping up your business?

September 19th, 2019
The Triman logo has been a mandatory marking requirement for recyclable end of-life-products covered by Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in France since January 2015. However, the “unified recycling signage and marking system” has caused much confusion since its inception. Macron’s pledge to “make the planet great again” means a new Circular Economy Law in France and thus, a revival of the Triman, with increased enforceability and more informative requirements. So how does this affect your company and what will you need to do to stay compliant?

Is my company obligated?

The ADEME published a detailed user’s handbook explaining when, why and how to implement the Triman, here’s the summary: the logo is mandatory on all consumer products covered by EPR, as well as the packaging (with the exception of glass). If direct display on the product is not feasible, the logo can be displayed on the packaging, instruction leaflet, or on the website. However, business-to-business products (B2B), or products displaying the crossed-out wheelie bin symbol (EEE and batteries, as per WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU) do not need to display the Triman. If packaging typically arises as household waste, or as waste in commercial entities that dispose of their packaging with municipal waste, it must be marked with the Triman. 

What’s the confusion over Triman requirements?

The convoluted requirements have led to backlash and non-compliance. The obligation to mark the Triman logo on packaging is not a requirement in any other European country, so it causes problems for global trade and distance selling; it’s loose use on websites contributes to online free-riding; it has little effect for packaging made from various materials, as it does not differentiate between material recyclability, and how the logo coexists with other marking requirements lacks clarity.  A report published in April 2015 by the French Federal Union of Consumers found that only 20% of products surveyed were compliant.  

What are the penalties for incorrect usage?

It was no surprise that when a new Draft of the Circular Economy Law was presented, the Triman got a mention. The draft adds new Triman requirements; it is to be accompanied by information about sorting of waste, and the product’s contribution to the waste stream. More importantly, it increases enforceability by adding provisions about the logo into the legislative part of the environmental code. As it stands, penalties for failing to, or incorrectly display the Triman include a fine of up to €100,000 or two-years imprisonment. Combined with the upcoming EU Regulation on market surveillance and compliance, it has never been more pertinent to understand the Triman and make sure you are meeting your obligations as producers.  

How do I use the Triman correctly and avoid enforcement?

The Draft is the latest instalment in the rapid development of packaging regulations. The best way to avoid fines and stop-sells through this period of changing legislation is to put your compliance in the hands of experts. EC4P has helped many companies protect their product sales by implementing legally robust compliance arrangements.  Quarterly update reports for Batteries, WEEE and Packaging Regulations communicate all relevant information and tell you what your business needs to implement, giving you peace of mind and ensuring your legal obligations are met.