What you need to know about the French and Italian regulations for garment packaging?

May 11, 2022

France and Italy have sharpened the regulations for the waste-collection marking of products, including packaging, shoes and garments. The regulations aim to reduce landfill waste and increase recycling amongst consumers. It is a turning point in the industry, where awareness becomes an actual law, resulting in painful fines for brands that fail to comply. See below what you need to know.

With sustainable shopping as a high priority for consumers, many brands have already started making changes in their business model, paying more attention to the recycling options for their products and packaging, as sustainability is taking a central role.

Aligned with the general EU Green Deal initiative, or the newly released EU Strategy for sustainable and circular textiles, both France and Italy want to make sure that brands are more transparent and tell consumers how to recycle the packaging of the garments they purchase. Thus, the two countries have adopted a set of rules that need to be applied by June 30th (Italy) and September 2022 (France), concerning all brands shipping products there.

The two initiatives mark a joint act of responsibility that interests every actor in the supply chain. The “Triman” sorting logo is part of the “Sorting signage for household packaging” regulations in France and is called “Signalétique de tri des emballages ménagers”, in French. The initiative is part of the “Anti-waste and circular economy law n°2020-105 of 10 february 2020, article 17“.

The “Italian environmental labelling for packaging” regulation is thus called “Etichettatura ambientale obbligatoria degli imballaggi” originally, and can be found in the “Legislative Decree no. 116 of 3 September 2020” (“Decreto legislative del 3 settembre 2020“). And both can be hard to implement without access to trusted sources of information and direction for application.

Hangtags in the French Market?

Anything that is considered packaging should be labelled with the Triman logo and feature recycling instructions no matter if it is cork, cotton, plastic, glass or organic material, in France. Even if this does not guarantee that all products will be recycled, the goal is to make sure that waste is collected and sorted for maximised recycling. Different accessories with different materials featured in one product (i.e. paper hangtag with cotton string) can be indicated separately as materials, inviting the consumer to separate each part before putting it all in the recycling bin. Even if this is not mandatory, brands should be proactive and expect this might become mandatory soon as well.

The two regulations’ implementation date was, initially, January 1st, 2022, with a grace period after which brands shipping to France or Italy will need to comply. The two countries have extended the deadline to June 30th, 2022, in Italy, and September 2022 for France.

Thanks to our in-house team of experts, and with the original source of regulations on hand, Trimco Group can help and guide you through HOW and WHEN to apply the waste collection marking correctly, for both the French Triman signage and Italian regulations. Whether it is your polybags, boxes, banderols, hangtags or e-commerce packaging, shoe boxes, shoe packaging or garment packaging, we can help.

What you need to know about the French regulation:

  1. From September 2022, the Triman Logo is mandatory on packaging, textiles and shoes, shoe boxes, shoe packaging or garment packaging (including hangtags), more so if they can be recycled. All packaging produced after this date must bear the correct signage.
  2. Stock manufactured before September 2022 without correct signage, should disposed of until March 2023. Brands falling into the packaging + textile EPR obligations, have until June 2023 to comply, but acting sooner can help avoiding any eventual fines.
  3. The Triman logo now has a new format that requires sorting advice, which can be described using French text or symbols. The “FR” country code should be utilized together with the Triman Logo if the product is sent to other French-speaking markets as well.
  4. Packaging featuring multiple materials can be displayed separately (not mandatory).
  5. There is a size limit for the Triman Logo as well, where 6mm is minimum and must not be printed in white.
  6. The financial consequences for non-compliance are defined according to the amount of waste handled without proper signage. More information here (in French): LOI n° 2020-105 du 10 février 2020 relative à la lutte contre le gaspillage et à l’économie circulaire (1) – Légifrance (legifrance.gouv.fr).

What you need to know about the Italian regulation

  1. Implementation should happen by June 30th, 2022. All packaging produced after this date must contain proper signage.
  2. For all stock manufactured before June 30th, 2022, it is allowed to distribute packaging without the mandatory signage until the end of stock.
  3. all packaging shall be appropriately labelled in accordance with the procedures laid down in the applicable UNI technical standards and in compliance with the decisions of the European Commission
  4. A written note, in Italian, needs to be visible on the packaging informing about the correct way to dispose of it. CONAI (Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi – the Italian Consortio of Packaging) suggests using the formula Material Collection + material category (Racolta + famiglia di materiale) Source: www.conai.org
  5. If the packaging includes several materials, the law recommends using graphic or written directions, also in Italian, to instruct on the correct disposal of the different materials.
  6. Brands that do not comply should expect fines of up to €40.000. More about it here: Conai Progettare Riciclo

See here an example of signage for the French and Italian markets, for a paper hangtag with a cotton string, where the two materials are mentioned separately. Please note that this is just an example. and should be treated accordingly.

This article was first published in November 3rd, 2021. Updated May 11th, 2022.

!Please note that this is an informative article, based on our interpretation and study of the laws. Our suggestions are based on our best up to date access to information for brands. We cannot take legal responsibility for the correctness of any waste-collection marking.

Sources for the French regulation: the original law and the additional decree from 2021, on legifrance.gouv.fr.

Sources for the Italian regulation: the original law in the gazzetaufficiale.it and information on the website of the National Packaging Consortium, conai.org.

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