On February 15, the European Commission sent 74 formal notices to 17 States of the Union. This list includes an attack on the “Triman”, labeling deployed by France in 2015 to indicate that the product should not be thrown away, and “Info-tri”, a recent addition indicating the sorting methods.
The European Commission points out that this sorting instruction is not governed by harmonized rules at Community level. However, recalls Brussels, the national legislation adopted in this area must not, on the internal market of the EU, create an unnecessary burden for trade.
“In this context, imposing specific national labeling requirements risks undermining the principle of free movement of goods and may have counterproductive effects on the environment”, for the Commission. “Such a measure may also result in increased material requirements for additional labeling and greater production of waste due to the larger than necessary size of the packaging (sic)”.
This formal notice comes as Info-sorting has become mandatory as of February 1. The marketers (brands, importers, etc.) have until next August to sell their parts where the Info-sorting labeling has not yet joined the Triman.
A two-Month Ultimatum
The Commission considers that the two indications have not been subject to a sufficient analysis of the proportionality of their regulatory choice. And argues that other less restrictive options for trade within the EU were available and appropriate.
Brussels also criticizes France for not having notified this regulation to the European Commission before its adoption, when it was still only a draft. France would thus, for the Commission, have breached the notification obligations established by the directive on transparency in the single market.
“France now has two months to respond to the concerns expressed by the Commission”, warns Brussels. “Failing that, the latter could decide to send him a reasoned opinion”. A reasoned opinion being, in Brussels parlance, a formal request to comply with EU law, before a possible referral to the Court of Justice of the EU.
France, “Engine For Europe”
Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, the Ministry of Ecological Transition indicates that France will present its arguments on the issue within the two-month period required by Brussels, and that it will be attentive to the questions and arguments of the Commission.
“This Info-sorting responds to consumers’ expectations to be better informed about the solutions for developing the reuse and recycling of waste on a daily basis”, explains the ministry. “The European Commission has also just proposed an equivalent Info-sorting measure at European level. This is thanks in particular to the impetus of France and the anti-waste law, which shows that the government’s policy on the circular economy is a driving force for Europe”.
The Triman represents a silhouette throwing something that will end up in a circular loop, whose arrow serves as a frame for the label. Info-sorting aims to clarify where to dispose of end-of-life clothes. In a cartridge, the logos symbolizing clothes, shoes and household linen are sent to collection containers, voluntary collection stores, or associations.
This article is originally published on fr.fashionnetwork.com