In a recent decision, the French Council of State (France’s highest administrative court – le Conseil d’Etat) cancelled the Order of 30 November 2020 on signs and markings that could lead to confusion regarding sorting rules.
The use of the “green dot” was not allowed in France as the logo was considered confusing for consumers. Indeed, most consumers would see it as an assurance that the packaging is recyclable, whereas it only indicates that the selling company pays a mandatory sorting contribution as part of its Extended Producer responsibility (EPR).
To put an end to this confusion, AGEC law relating to the fight against waste and the circular economy directly targeted this lack of legibility by prohibiting signs and markings that may lead to confusion about the rule for sorting or disposing of waste including “graphic figures representing two or more arrows wound up and set in a circle”, which implicitly referred to the “green dot”.
Following judicial action from professional associations and green dot trademark owner, the prohibition was first suspended in 2021. Such suspension was confirmed in June 2023. The prohibition of the “green dot” should therefore no longer be applicable and may be used in France without restrictions.