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Agec law: what changes for manufacturers?

March 28, 2023

The end of disposable packaging in fast food restaurants has caused a lot of buzz lately. But do you know what regulation is behind all of this? The Agriculture and Food Act (Agec)! This law, passed in February 2021, concerns anti-waste and circular economy.

The Pimster team explains what you can expect from this law and how to take advantage of it for your brand. 👉

What is the Agec law?

The aim of the law is to transform our current linear consumption economy (produce, consume, discard) into a circular economy, with specific objectives for the years to come.

Traceability of components and transparency in production are now mandatory.

The law is based on 5 key pillars.

Moving away from disposable plastic

  • By selling more bulk products in stores.
  • By gradually phasing out single-use plastic items and packaging by 2040. One of the objectives is to halve the number of single-use plastic bottles by 2023.
  • By adding a microplastic filter to new washing machines from 2025, to prevent these particles from ending up in the oceans, where they currently make up 46% of the 9.5 million tons of plastic dumped each year (IUCN 2017 annual report).

Better informing the consumer

  • With simplified and identical sorting instructions for everyone: a unique logo and harmonization of instructions across the territory.
  • Information on greenhouse gas emissions from internet and mobile consumption.
  • Information on endocrine disruptors made available online by manufacturers.
  • The legal guarantee of conformity and its duration must be announced on the product invoice or receipt since 2022. Moreover, if the product undergoes a repair within two years of its purchase date, the warranty is extended by 6 months.

Fighting against waste and for solidarity-based reuse

  • Limiting the waste of non-food unsold items by encouraging donation or recycling, to limit overproduction.
  • Fighting against food waste through strengthened waste limits for canteens and restaurants.
  • Allowing the sale of individual units in pharmacies.
  • The systematic printing of receipts will stop from April 2023.

Fighting against programmed obsolescence

  • Creating a repairability index to extend the lifespan of products. We wrote a detailed article on this subject: 3 lessons to learn from the launch of the repairability index.
  • Facilitating the use of spare parts to repair products, including by informing the consumer about the availability of spare parts for the purchased product.

Better production

  • Creating new polluter-pays schemes in which producers must finance the end-of-life of products.
  • Creating a bonus-malus system to encourage the production of more environmentally friendly products: ecological producers will receive a bonus, and conversely a financial penalty.

What are the consequences for companies and their products?

Extending the lifespan of products is one of the objectives of the Agec law. Indeed, all measures aimed at reducing disposable plastic or fighting against programmed obsolescence go in the direction of better product durability.

Companies must therefore commit to two fronts:

On one hand, during production, they must ensure that they use quality, environmentally friendly materials (end of disposable plastic, recycled materials...) to create robust products that will last longer. But they must also ensure that their product is repairable and that spare parts will be available within a maximum of 15 days.

On the other hand, companies now have a duty to provide information to consumers to enable them to make the best possible purchasing choices. They must also inform consumers after the purchase by providing them with information on how to maintain their product and extend its lifespan, as well as data to allow customers to repair their product independently.

The consequences are already observable for some players, such as the computer manufacturer Acer, which saw its sales increase by 10% thanks to repairability.

Other brands have also decided to actively position themselves on the subject to encourage consumers to purchase more sustainable products. This is indeed the case with Fnac, which has decided to reward the purchase of a durable product with 3€ collected in the customer loyalty fund.

Fnac-Darty promotes "sustainable choice" products
Fnac-Darty promotes “sustainable choice” products

How can we help you position your brand in line with the Agec law?

Pimster can assist you on both pillars to position your brand in line with the Agec law:

  • Providing spare parts
  • Fulfilling the duty of maintenance information: to extend the lifespan of your products and fully embrace a sustainability approach, by helping you improve access to information about your product: technical specifications, composition, production methods, sorting and recycling instructions...

Furthermore, you can improve the traceability of your product through product registration on our platform, or even warranty registration. If you want to understand the mechanism and its benefits in detail, our article on digital product passports is for you.

Finally, we enable you to create a user guide in the form of stories, to provide your customers with maintenance and repair information for your products, which aligns with the sustainability approach encouraged by the Agec law.

Brandt encourages self-repair and promotes the maintenance of its appliances
Brandt encourages self-repair and promotes the maintenance of its household appliances

Convinced that you can act for sustainability? Request a demo.