Anti-waste law: what impact on your marketplace?

6 December 2022

Business Insight

The Anti-Waste and Circular Economy Act, also known as the AGEC Act, was enacted in February 2020. Part of an ambitious programme for the climate and biodiversity by 2050, it aims – as its name suggests – to promote the emergence of new production and consumption models that help preserve the planet. Since January 1st 2022, this law has also affected digital players and e-traders. What are these new measures? What does it change for marketplaces? Our analysis.


From linear to circular: the ambitions of the anti-waste law for e-commerce


The AGEC Act is in line with the provisions taken by the European Union in its “Circular Economy Package”, i.e. four directives published in 2018 that imposes a circular economy roadmap on Member States. French legislators, in collaboration with circular economy stakeholders such as INEC, have thus transposed into national law the main principles imposed by European texts: the law responds to a desire to adapt current linear production and consumption models to environmental challenges and to make them more energy efficient, while now considering waste as a resource.

With the AGEC law, the State aims to move from a society based on “disposable goods” to a virtuous economic model from the design to the distribution of products. While unsold non-food products represent an annual market of €2 billion, which until recently was destined to go up in smoke, e-retailers are in the front line to initiate this paradigm shift, which involves :

  • Less plastic and waste,
  • More information for consumers and solidarity reuse,
  • Actions against planned obsolescence.


AGEC Act: the obligation to reinforce product information sold on marketplaces


Since January 1st 2022, any marketplace selling new non-food products must comply with the provisions of the AGEC law. To comply with the law, they must adapt their product sheets and general terms and conditions of sale to the regulations and must, therefore :

  • Present, on each product sheet, the substances with properties considered or proven to be endocrine disruptors,
  • Only note the words “Made in France” on products that have met the strict criteria for obtaining this label. If this mention appears on products manufactured abroad, the marketplace operator risks a fine of up to 300,000 euros.

Good to know: if the terms “Made in France”, “designed in France”, or “assembled in France” are authorised for products manufactured abroad, it is important not to mislead the buyer by suggesting a French origin that does not exist. It is better to be transparent and gain the trust of consumers.

Read also: B2C marketplace regulation: what changes are coming


AGEC Act: the extended responsibility of marketplaces


Within the AGEC law, Article L. 541-10-9 of the Environmental Code stipulates that marketplaces covered by the extended producer responsibility (EPR) principle” are now required to provide and contribute to the prevention and management of waste from products sold. Before January 1st 2022, the destruction ban covered only food products. From now on, non-food products – such as daily hygiene products, clothes, shoes, electronic devices, and books – may not be destroyed. This is a paradigm shift for some online retail platforms responsible for the life cycle of the products they sell, from design to end of life!

Note that marketplaces subject to the EPR principle must :

  • Register with ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) and obtain a unique identifier to better inform consumers about the platform’s commitments to a circular economy.
  • Pay an eco-tax and register with an eco-organisation that manages the collection and treatment of waste.
  • Ensure that the product sold is taken back free of charge at the place of delivery.

As a reminder: a Producer in the sense of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a natural or legal person who develops, manufactures, handles, processes, sells or imports products that generate waste. He must be the first to market the product on the French market, whether he is a manufacturer, importer, or seller.


AGEC law: a growth lever for future marketplace operators?


The days of unsold goods being thrown away seem to be over! Today, marketplaces are encouraged to promote a more virtuous economy based on sorting, reuse, and recycling. Better still, they have the opportunity to create circular economy platforms, which come with many advantages:

  • Become an agent of change by responding to environmental and societal issues.
  • Build confidence among environmentally conscious consumers.
  • To have an additional cash flow quickly by reaching a maximum of consumers without having to work on the visibility of its offer.
  • Preserve profitability on products previously destined for destruction.

Read also: Circular Economy Marketplace: what opportunities for your business?

Some online retailers had already anticipated these new measures from the anti-waste law as early as 2020, while others have until December 31st 2023 to comply (only certain products are concerned). So now is the time to seize the opportunities a circular economy marketplace offers! To help you in its implementation, Lemonway is your privileged contact for your payment solutions.

Not sure how to set up your circular economy marketplace? Do you want to offer efficient and easy-to-use payment solutions? Don’t wait any longer to tell us about your project. Contact us now!