How to prepare for the French Anti-Waste and Circular Economy Law (Décret n° 2022-748)
‘Transparency’ isn’t a new term in the fashion world, but the AGEC law is the first time a regulation has required this new level of disclosure for the apparel industry. Traceability and transparency are no longer guidelines or best practices – they’re mandatory. And now is the time to get ahead.
What is AGEC?
France’s AGEC legislation aims to push companies to embrace more circular production, and shoppers toward more sustainable consumption. This decree requires companies to inform consumers about the environmental characteristics of a variety of waste-generating products, including textiles, such as information about where an item came from and its contents. The law was adopted in February 2020, and the decree was published in April 2022.
How and when AGEC is going into effect
The use of some marketing and production claims, such as “biodegradable” and “environmentally-friendly”, were immediately banned for all companies when the decree was published in 2022, while other disclosure requirements have progressively been implemented since January 1, 2023. This law applies to all new consumer goods put on the French market (except second-hand products).
The chart below provides further details about when companies were required to follow AGEC requirements based on their annual turnover and volume of products sold within France.
Data requirements for AGEC
The data requirements below apply to all apparel and footwear products.
Recycled content (does not apply to leather products):
Recycled content information must be disclosed in terms of global proportion in weight and be expressed in the following way: “product containing at least X% recycled material”.
Recyclability information must be disclosed with the phrase “mostly recyclable product” if the product fulfills the recyclability requirements below. If the product fulfills all these requirements and if the recycled material produced represents more than 95% of the weight of the collected waste, then the claim“entirely recyclable product” can be used.
- The ability to effectively collect waste at the state level
- The ability to sort the waste
- The absence of elements or substances that would disrupt the recycling process or limit the usability of the material once recycled
- The fact that the recycled material produced by the implemented recycling processes represents more than 50% of the weight of the collected waste.
- The ability to be recycled at industrial scale, including via a guarantee that the quality of the material obtained is sufficient to ensure that it will be used and that there is enough capacity to start an industrial recycling.
The presence of harmful substances must be disclosed by expressing “contains a harmful substance” if said substance is present at a concentration higher than 0.1% (in weight) in the product. The statement must be followed by the name of all the harmful substances present in the product. The list of concerned substances are defined under the EU REACH regulation and can be found here.
If a product contains more than 50% synthetic fiber by weight, the disclosure must mention, “this product releases plastic microfibers in the environment during washing”.
Traceability information shall be disclosed by listing the country(ies) where each of the following production stages took place:
- For apparel: Weaving, Dyeing / Printing, and Confectioning
- For shoes: Stitching, Lasting, and Finishing
The compostability and recyclability of all product packaging must also be disclosed.
The information required by AGEC must be presented on a product sheet titled “Product Sheet on Environmental Qualities or Characteristics”. The data included within this sheet must be available to search via a search engine, and be made available to the consumer at purchase and after purchase in a dematerialized, freely, and easily accessible format. The data provided must be easily reusable digitally to allow aggregation -- uploaded on a dedicated webpage to allow direct queries as well as data extraction for possible automated treatment. Finally, the information should be publicly available for two years after bringing the last unit of the product to market.
The mentions “biodegradable”, “environmentally friendly” or any equivalent claims are prohibited on new consumer products and packaging for all companies.
Companies not complying with this decree are subject to a penalty of up to €15,000. The greater concern for companies, though, are the reputational and legal risks with NGOs, consumer protection agencies and shoppers.
How EON supports AGEC Compliance
EON Product Cloud enables data to be collected from across the entire value chain, securely stored, and shared with stakeholders from supply chain to post-sale. We assign a unique data profile or Digital ID to every product, and associate that profile to the physical item via a data carrier such as a QR code or NFC tag. Customers and other stakeholders can scan the product to access transparent information, along with circular services such as repair and resale. For AGEC specifically, in addition to engaging consumers with the required data points, we enable our clients to understand and validate data against the required fields, and receive alerts when products are not compliant. Real-time reporting means you can identify and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.