New Law Requires France’s Government Bodies to Buy More Recycled Paper

Connector Fall 2016

The entry into force of France’s law on the energy transition (Loi relative à la transition énergétique) as of 1 January 2017 means that the French state will have to ensure that its paper procurement achieves a target of at least 25% recycled paper. The law, which was adopted in August last year and contains numerous provisions on energy and environment, states in Article 79 that from the beginning of next year government bodies and authorities as well as regional authorities will have to take into account these requirements for all purchases of paper, paper goods and printed materials. From 1 January 2020, this percentage will increase to 40%. According to the definition in the legislation, “recycled paper” means that the paper and paper goods must contain at least 50% recovered paper. The other papers have to be made from wood from sustainable forestry. Market insiders estimate that around 10% of paper purchased by the state already complies with the new legislation.

The law also requires that the government bodies in France considerably reduce their paper consumption. By the year 2020, consumption of office paper by the state is to be cut by 30% and the administrative bodies are to prepare plans how to reduce this usage.

Since a large share of government paper purchases in France are in the office paper segment, usually A4 and A3 copy paper, this segment will see the greatest changes. According to the state purchasing authority DAE, the French state purchased nearly 7.5 million packages of copy paper (with 500 sheets each) in 2013, for which it paid €21m including all taxes.

Source: EUWID Pulp and Paper