Polywrapped mailings banned in France

03 February, 2022


What's changing and why?

It's headline news that single-use plastic is having a negative environmental impact around the globe. Word leaders and business leaders committed at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 to a number of measures including reducing and prohibiting some plastic products, with banning of plastic straws a high profile measure already in place in many countries.

In France, their Anti-Waste Law, also called AGEC law (Loi relative à la lute contre le gaspillage et a l’économie circulaire), contains about 50 measures that include:

  • New obligations (requirement of transparency)
  • New prohibitions (control of irreversible ecological ambitions)
  • New tools to better control and sanction offences against the environment.

The law lays down a progressive and reasoned method for phasing out plastics, by laying down 5-year plans which will provide for plastic reduction, reuse and recycling targets. Being the first in the world, the French Anti-Waste Law is considered a ground-breaking law and a crucial step towards a better protection of the environment.


How it's impacting mailers of publications and direct mail marketing

The main goal of the AGEC law, is to achieve zero disposable plastic by 2040. The law includes a ban on press publications and advertisements in plastic packaging (polywrap), from January 2022.

Business's sending mail in polythene wrap to France (direct mail, publications, catalogues) should immediately seek alternative solutions. This cam into force in January 2022 and although mailing may have been let through to date, the authorities in France are becoming increasingly vigilant about enforcing this law.


What can you do? There are options!

If you are still sending items to France in poly-wrap or any form of plastic wrapping, we urge you to consider changing to an alternative.

Alternatives might include:

  • Paper (envelopes or wrap)
  • Transparent film made of compostable cellulose fibre
  • Sending items unwrapped (although there are unique requirements for this solution that need to be adhered to).

As we understand it, La Poste is not currently mandated to make checks on the packaging, the onus is on you the publisher to adhere to the French regulations.


Asendia can help you

If mail is wrapped in plastic, Asendia will not place the mailing on hold and La Poste will not quarantine it, as the onus is on the publisher of the mail. But we strongly advise not going against the law.

Our mailing house in Southampton has capabilities to use compostable transparent wrap and can fulfil mailings in paper envelopes or 'naked'.

With La Poste as one of our parent companies, we know the French market better than anyone, so please don't hesitate to contact us for guidance on your mailings to France.

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