France has introduced a number of laws to tackle the looming ecological catastrophe and combat climate change, including the Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy Act (AGEC) and the Climate & Resilience Act. In this article, we’ll be looking at the latter, and more specifically at Article 23, which states that: “From 1 January 2025, packaging made wholly or partly of polymers or styrenic copolymers that cannot be recycled and are unable to enter a recycling stream will be banned.”
Who is affected?
Styrenics are a family of resins that includes ABS and SAN. They are used mainly in make-up and facial care (mascara, lipstick/gloss, cases, jars, palettes, etc.), and sometimes also for perfume bottle caps.
To be recyclable, packaging must be collected and sorted to form a stream that feeds a regeneration unit, and the regenerated material must be suitable for use by a converter to produce new items.
In practice, there is no specific recycling stream for ABS and SAN in France, as volumes are too low. The only possible option would be to integrate the PS recycling channels currently under development.
Is this feasible in practice?
Unfortunately not: after numerous tests, the Cotrep (Technical Committee for the Recycling of Plastic Packaging) has classified ABS as red (not compatible and/or disruptive).
Packaging containing 50% or more ABS/SAN will be banned from 1 January 2025.
Packaging containing less than 50% ABS/SAN will be covered by the AGEC law and banned by 2030.
The details of how this law will be implemented are not yet known, but there is likely to be a period during which stocks can be disposed of; destroying existing packaging would be counterproductive.
It is also quite possible that Europe will follow suit with the introduction of the PPWR (future European regulation on packaging and packaging waste).
Stay tuned… In the meantime, contact us for more information.
Cotrep recyclability guide
CITEO Tree: a tool for assessing the recyclability of packaging
Eco-organisations: CITEO or LEKO.
Climate and Resilience Act (Law no. 2021-1104 of 22 August 2021 on combating climate change and building resilience to its effects)
Webinar Febea 06/2023 “Styrenics & impact on cosmetics”.