Waste sorting, an obligation for companies

A widespread legal obligation

Since January 1, 2024, selective sorting of waste at source has been a legal obligation for all French companies, whatever their sector of activity. Whether you’re a manufacturing company, a factory, a service company or just an office, you’re affected by these regulations.

This obligation comes against a backdrop of growing environmental awareness and of tighter regulations on waste management in France. With France still lagging far behind some of its European neighbors in terms of sorting and recycling, the public authorities have decided to tighten requirements for all economic players.

In concrete terms, your company must set up separate collection systems for different types of waste : paper, plastic, glass, metals, wood, bio-waste, and even edible oils if you produce or hold more than 60 liters per year. This sorting equipment must be accessible to all your staff.

If your establishment is also open to the public, you’ll also need to offer your visitors sorting facilities, at least for household packaging, printed paper and biowaste. Food superstores of over 2,500 m² are even required to install a take-back point for packaging waste at the checkout.

Environmental and economic challenges

This obligation to sort waste at source meets several major challenges for society and for your company itself.

From an environmental point of view, sorting and recycling waste considerably reduces its impact on the environment. Rather than being landfilled or incinerated,materials can be reintroduced into production circuits, avoiding the waste of natural resources. It is an essential lever for achieving the waste reduction and circular economy targets set by the public authorities.

Beyond these environmental challenges, waste sorting also has direct economic benefits for your company. Optimized waste management reduces collection and treatment costs, which can be a major burden for companies. What’s more, the recovery of certain types of waste, through recycling or energy production, can even generate additional income.

Finally, a commitment to waste sorting and recycling can also be an asset in terms of corporate social responsibility. Consumers, partners and investors are increasingly aware of environmental issues, and expect companies to take concrete action in favor of sustainable development.