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To facilitate selective sorting in collection areas, it was decided to set up bins of different colors to help consumers find their way around. This article helps you to more easily decipher the color codes set up.

Color codes in France for selective sorting of waste

The management of the collection of domestic waste, and therefore of the separation of garbage, is entrusted to the municipalities. As a general rule, local authorities in France adopt the same color code for selective sorting. However, it happens that some town halls opt for a specific approach. In this case, they generally operate a communication operation to justify their difference.

Here are the colors commonly used in France for selective sorting:

  • The yellow trash can : this compartment is dedicated to plastic packaging (bottles, cosmetic bottles, cleaning product containers, etc.), cardboard (milk cartons, cake packaging, etc.) and metal packaging (cans, tins, empty aerosols, etc.). In business, the collection of paper and cardboard is separate to facilitate the recovery of this material. My Eco Design also offers specific bins for collecting paper and cardboard.
  • The green trash can : this color is intended for the reception of glass products: bottles, jam jars, jars, broken glass… It is essential to remove the plastic caps and lids as well as the metallic films which may cover the container.
  • The black, gray or brown trash can : it accommodates waste that cannot fit into the first two categories. If there are no other bins, we put food waste, non-recyclable waste (diapers, cotton swabs, yoghurt pots and other containers combining several materials…).
  • The blue trash can : some municipalities are setting up the blue bin to specifically accommodate papers: newspapers, magazines, etc.

A lot of hazardous and bulky waste should not go in any trash. They must be brought back to the recycling center or to collection points in supermarkets and specialized shops. This is particularly the case for batteries, used oil, toxic products, leftover paint, drugs, etc.

School Selectibox, compact baskets along the walls of classrooms

Color codes of selective sorting some differences at European level

Differences exist in the use of color codes in other European countries. In Germany, for example, the brown bin is dedicated to leftover food (BioGUT). Eggshells, peelings, coffee grounds… In short, this color indicates any compostable waste.

Number one in selective sorting and recycling in Europe, Sweden instead uses pictograms to identify the different compartments of a collection point. There are generally seven different bins in the same place to refine the selective sorting.

In countries like Greece, selective sorting is not yet present everywhere. We usually find ourselves in front of only one beautiful. There are not yet any legislative constraints for the inhabitants.

The lack of harmonization at European level results from the absence of binding and uniform legislation at European Union level. It is therefore necessary to create a common law so that sorting is easier to manage.

Lack of selective sorting

The lack of selective sorting affects the recycling process.

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