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Do you know what this icon means?

We asked readers recently ... and most got it wrong: it does not mean an item can be recycled

TWO weeks ago in our free weekly Connexion newsletter we asked readers if they recognised this symbol and what it meant. We were not surprised that most people got it wrong.

Although the so-called Point Vert or Green Dot is on 95% of packaged goods sold in France it does not mean the packaging can be recycled. It means no more than that the manufacturer respects its legal obligations and has also contributed financially to the collection and recycling of packaging.

Consumer group UFC Que Choisir says that the majority of people get it wrong and that means extra costs for communes as they must remove items from the recycling waste and put into general waste.

One icon that shows that an item can be recycled is the ‘Mobius Loop’ – and even then that does not mean your commune can actually recycle it, just that the item is capable of being recycled.

Earlier this year the ‘Triman’ icon (see links below) was introduced by France as a way to show items that could and should be recycled and this is now mandatory on all products that can be recycled – although industry has been given time to create new packaging.

The government has produced a list of what the various icons mean on the Service Public website and they are in four categories: encouraging people to recycle, showing a product is recyclable, saying a product – like the paper for our newspaper – is recycled and, finally, those that show the manufacturer has helped finance packaging recycling.

Recycling icons - what they mean— Ken Seaton (@apriliaken) June 2, 2015

Environmental agency Ademe has added its own list showing the recycling icons but also the new icons that are being brought in worldwide for use on all chemical hazards.

Previous article on recycling - French recycling rates 'disastrous'

* The month’s Connexion has an article on recycling in France, which shows only a shocking 23% of waste is recycled, with costs rising to €6.25billion in recent years. Find us at newsagents across France. Use to find your nearest stockist – or click here to download a pdf version now for €3.50

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