Impact of the AGEC law on chemical substances

Published 
January 20, 2023

The Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy (AGEC), enacted on February 10, 2020 in France, aims to change the production and consumption model to limit waste. It is the result of a consultation with local authorities, companies and NGOs in October 2020 and is part of the action plan for the ecological transition.

This French law makes it possible to define the environmental qualities and characteristics for the information of the consumers, composed of 130 articles, it aims at concretizing 5 great objectives until 2040:

  1. Get out of disposable plastic;
  2. Informing consumers correctly;
  3. Fight against waste and for solidarity reuse;
  4. Act against programmed obsolescence;
  5. Improve production.

These targets generate many major changes, such as a 20% reduction in plastic packaging, a new Info-tri sign for packaging, etc. The complete list is available on the website of the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Several decrees have been issued as a result of this legislation, which will come into force on different dates. As the decrees setting out the objectives and terms of the AGEC law have not yet all been published, it is very important to monitor their progress.

What are the measures concerning the management of chemicals?

The changes regarding chemical management are based on Section 13 of the AGEC Act.

"Producers and importers of waste-generating products shall inform consumers, by means of marking, labeling, display or any other appropriate process, about their environmental qualities and characteristics, including the incorporation of [...] the presence of hazardous substances, precious metals or rare earths [...]."

3 decrees translate the measures to be taken:

  • The decree n°2021-1110 of August 23, 2021, which determines the modalities of information to consumers regarding endocrine disruptors and the substances concerned. However, the decree listing the endocrine disruptors has not yet been published. It is possible to refer to the information published by the ANSES (Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail) or the lists established by the ECHA (European Chemical Agency) for endocrine disruptors, in order to anticipate the potential future decree.
  • The decree n°2021-1285 of October 1, 2021, which specifies the dangerous substances concerned by the information obligation.
  • Decree no. 2022-748 of April 29, 2022, which specifies the terms of application of the obligation to inform consumers of the environmental qualities and characteristics of waste-generating products.  This decree mainly concerns rare earths and precious metals.

How to communicate on the packaging of chemical substances?

Within the framework of the AGEC law, the decree n° 2022-748 of April 29, 2022 obliges for any packaging of chemical products, the presence of the following information:

  • "Recyclable packaging" and/or "contains x% recycled materials".
  • "Compostable packaging"
  • "Reusable packaging" and "refillable packaging
  • And other information on hazardous substances

The obligation to inform the consumer must be integrated by companies between 2023 and 2025, depending on the turnover and number of units of companies:

  • Sales > 50 M euros and at least 25,000 units = January 1st 2023
  • Sales> 20 M euros and at least 10 000 units = January 1st 2024
  • Sales> 10 M euros and at least 10 000 units = January 1st 2025

 

This obligation concerns producers, importers or any marketer of products.

Focus on rare earths and precious metals

Certain provisions of the AGEC law are specifically targeted at precious metals and rare earths.

Rare earths are metals and metal compounds used in a large number of high-tech manufacturing processes, including recent or "future" technologies: batteries, displays, cell phones, low-energy light bulbs, hybrid vehicles, wind turbine rotors, missiles, medical imaging.

  • Rare earths are: scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutecium, cerium

Precious metals are rare metallic chemical elements of great economic value.

  • Precious metals are: gold, silver, platinum, palladium

The duty to inform covers the categories of products mentioned in 5° and 15° of Article L. 541-10-1. of the Environmental Code:

5° Electrical and electronic equipment, whether intended for private or professional use, so that the components and waste generated by this equipment, including rare metals from high-tech electronic devices, particularly phones and tablets, can be collected and reused after use;

15° Private cars, vans, two- and three-wheeled motor vehicles and motor quadricycles, as of January 1, 2022, in order to ensure that they are taken back throughout the territory.

How can EcoMundo help you?

EcoMundo’s software, SVHC Factory, allows you to collect regulatory data based on international regulations such as the AGEC law and the lists of rare earths and precious metals.

Want to know more about the AGEC law?

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts!

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