France: Fee to start the recycling of furniture

„Barcode“, a table by Germany’s <a href=""target="_blank">Draenert</a> is made of natural stone waste. Here are two types. Hidden from view, the ingenious subconstruction. Photo: Draenert

(August 2013) France has established a green-tariff applicable as of May 1st 2013 by which products are taxed by weight. The tariff also applies to kitchen counter tops made of natural stone. The tax goes toward recycling costs. France produces some 2 million t of waste material every year.

The French trade magazine Pierre Actual has examined the implication of this law for the stone branch in its June issue (6/2013).

Natural stone sinks for bath or kitchen are exempt but the law applies for counter and worktops as it does for living room side boards or tables with marble tops.

Two official centers are responsible for levying the tax and recycling the material collected.

For items belonging to private homes Eco-Mobilier is in charge. Local producers and even producers from abroad must register on the web page. The levy is 0.01 € for products form 0.5 kg up to 250 kg. There above to 300 kg 18€ are charged and beyond 300 kg 5 €/100 kg apply.

For industrial furniture Valdélia will soon take up operation.

By 2015 it is the aim that 45% of all furniture produced care recycled. By 2017 it is hoped that the quota will be 80%.

But why should the stone branch be subject to this levy, asks Pierre Actual, since stone counter tops have an extremely long life cycle?

Our counter question: what if consumers did just that? Andreas Kreutzer of Kreutzer, Fischer & Partner Consulting Agents explains in the magazine „Imagine: if a product – no matter if it is a kitchen or something else – was replaced every ten years and the cycle was reduced to 9 years, the turnover would increase by 10%.“

Pierre Actual (French, download 5 €)

Eco-Mobilier (French)

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(23.08.2013) (USA: 08.23.2013)