Innovative bonus-malus system for increased rates of recyclability in the packaging industry, France

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Citeo France

Eco-contribution is mandatory in France for the packaging industry, as an incentive for improving recyclability from the start. The Modulated Eco-Contribution Scale is an educational and financial incentive tool to further promote the development of eco-design, taking into account technical efforts such as fiber sourcing and quality of adjacent packaging components.

The Modulated Eco-Contribution Scale decreases or increases the eco-contribution paid by paper products manufacturers based on a bonus-malus system: 

  • The "responsible fibres" criterion gives a 10% bonus to tonnages of paper made from recycled fibres and a 5% malus to paper made from fibres which have not come from sustainably managed forests;
  • The "recyclability" criterion gives a 5% malus for each element identified by the Scale that is disruptive to the recycling process (e.g. some types of ink, glue and varnishes and other non-fibrous components).

The criteria used to adjust eco-contributions were determined by a working group made up of stakeholders representing all business sectors of the paper lifecycle. The mandatory contribution has proven effective in reaching higher recycling objectives.

Main results

Ecofolio recorded a 25% increase of the share of papers made from recycled fibres and an 11% decrease of the share of papers containing elements that are disruptive to the recycling process between 2013 and 2014.