Sorting plastic packaging is simplified

sep article

FOCUS – Since 1st June 2016, the 589,000 inhabitants from the 195 communes in southern Isère (or 48 per cent of the department’s population) can throw all their plastic packaging in the green bin. Objective : to simplify the gesture of waste sorting for users, and generalize the recycling of plastic packaging across France by 2022, in the context of the energy transition law.




Emballages, Centre de tri d'Athanor. © Alexandra Moullec

Packaging in the Athanor sor­ting centre. © Alexandra Moullec

Into which rub­bish bin does one throw the yog­hurt pots, food trays and plas­tic bags ? Everyone has expe­rien­ced this moment of doubt in front of their green bin, at least once… At last, this is just a bad memory.


The sor­ting ins­truc­tions have been sim­pli­fied : all plas­tic packa­ging, without excep­tion, bag free, empty, unwa­shed and not cram­med full, can be thrown out toge­ther. The ini­tia­tive of seve­ral com­mu­ni­ties that won the call for pro­jects, laun­ched by Eco-embal­lages, last September.


The win­ners ? Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, the Community of Communes of Grésivaudan, Matheysine, Pays de Corps and the Valbonnais val­leys, as well as Trièves, the Syndicat inter­com­mu­nal de col­lecte et de trai­te­ment des ordures ména­gères (the inter­com­mu­nity asso­cia­tion for the col­lec­tion and treat­ment of hou­se­hold waste) – Sictom – of south Grésivaudan, and the Athanor sor­ting com­pany (Star).




Simplifying the gesture of sorting



De gauche à droite, Christophe Drure, Christophe Ferrari, Francis Gimbert, Bernard Eyssard, Pierre Liotard. © Alexandra Moullec

From left to right, Christophe Drure, Christophe Ferrari, Francis Gimbert, Bernard Eyssard, Pierre Liotard. © Alexandra Moullec

“This synergy of the department’s com­munes was a pre­re­qui­site to the appli­ca­tion being accep­ted by Eco-embal­lages, says Richard Quemin, cen­tral-eas­tern regio­nal direc­tor of the com­pany res­pon­sible for orga­ni­sing the natio­nal sys­tem of waste sor­ting and recy­cling.


These “regio­nal dyna­mics” reflect a com­mon desire to sim­plify the ges­ture of waste-sor­ting for thou­sands of users, too often dis­cou­ra­ged when facing the com­plexity of the task, high­lights Georges Oudjaoudi, 17th vice-pre­sident, dele­ga­ted to the pre­ven­tion, col­lec­tion and reuse of waste.


“We are cur­rently revi­sing our policy on the col­lec­tion and treat­ment of waste”, adds the lat­ter. “We hope that all the fea­tures that will be imple­men­ted will result in grea­ter ease for the inha­bi­tants, more effi­ciency, as well as eco­logy, for our com­mu­ni­ties”, concludes the repre­sen­ta­tive. Measures that will cer­tainly improve the recy­cling of waste plas­tic, which is insuf­fi­ciently reu­sed today..



Plastic packa­ging in France


More than a mil­lion tons : the volume of the plas­tic packa­ging used in France

23 % : the volume of recy­cled plas­tic packa­ging

50 % : the volume of plas­tic bot­tles and car­tons pla­ced on the mar­ket and sor­ted throu­ghout most of France

One out of two : the num­ber of plas­tic bot­tles and car­tons thrown into the cor­rect bin




A new sorting guide



Grenoble-Alpes Métropole have done eve­ry­thing to ensure that the sor­ting ins­truc­tions are cor­rectly applied, star­ting with the launch of a major cam­paign : all inha­bi­tants, land­lords and co-owner­ship asso­cia­tions of the 49 muni­ci­pa­li­ties of the metro­po­lis have recei­ved, or will receive, a let­ter and a guide with the new sor­ting ins­truc­tions.


Tri des emballages plastiques. DR

The Grenoble Alpes Métropole Communication cam­paign for the sor­ting of plas­tic packa­ging. Copyright

A pos­ter cam­paign is also plan­ned. Sorting ambas­sa­dors will speak to school­chil­dren and the gene­ral public : “the pri­vi­le­ged com­mu­ni­ca­tion is human contact, the Ambassador of waste sor­ting, who comes to see you”, sup­ports Richard Quemin, cen­tral-eas­tern regio­nal direc­tor of Eco-Emballages.


In order to adapt to the new ins­truc­tions, work was car­ried out at the Athanor sor­ting centre in May 2016. Total invest­ment : 1,700,000 euros. Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, the owner of the sor­ting centre, inves­ted one mil­lion euros, the rest was fun­ded by Eco-Emballages.



“The desire has always been to make the Athanor sor­ting centre an exem­plary faci­lity” says Frédéric Devalle, pre­sident of Star. With satis­fac­tion, he added that much has been inves­ted in “inno­va­tive hard­ware to increase the per­for­mance of sor­ting, both in qua­lity and in quan­tity, while pro­mo­ting employ­ment and the wor­king condi­tions of employees”.




From 25,000 to 35,000 tons of recycled packaging per year



A Grenoble, le recyclage des déchets a encore une bonne marge de progression. Un déchet sur deux finit est actuellement enfoui ou incinéré.

© Copyright Métro

Indeed, employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties should be crea­ted : “going from 25,000 to 35,000 tonnes of recy­cled packa­ging each year, throu­ghout these five ter­ri­to­ries, will gene­rate addi­tio­nal eco­no­mic acti­vity and the reuse of packa­ging, because it will not be sent for recy­cling in China […] All this creates employ­ment, which can­not be relo­ca­ted”, says Richard Quemin, cen­tral-eas­tern regio­nal direc­tor of Eco-Emballages. He adds that the sor­ting centre already has 68 employees and the crea­tion of posts is plan­ned for a ser­vice agent, seven sor­ting agents and addi­tio­nal sor­ting ambas­sa­dors.


Don’t for­get the envi­ron­men­tal impact : tons of CO₂ should be avoi­ded through the waste sor­ting ges­tures of the inha­bi­tants. Waste which can­not be recy­cled is already inci­ne­ra­ted for heat reco­very by Grenoble-Alpes Métropole. Thus, energy from waste allows the pro­duc­tion of elec­tri­city and the inci­ne­ra­tion plant pro­vides about one-third of the energy nee­ded for Grenoble’s urban hea­ting net­work.


Nevertheless, all these efforts and devices will only be suc­cess­ful if the citi­zens get their hands dirty : “Today, tech­no­logy can­not be use­ful without the invol­ve­ment of the citi­zens”, as remar­ked by Frédéric Devalle, pre­sident of Star.



Alexandra Moullec





535 kg : volume of waste pro­du­ced by each inha­bi­tant of the metro­po­lis in 2015

920.000 m³ : volume of rub­bish col­lec­ted in 2015 in the grey or brown bins in the metro­po­lis, nearly twice the volume of the Stade des Alpes

431.000 m³ : volume of recy­clable waste in the metro­po­lis, in 2015

90,5 % of waste col­lec­ted in the Metro, reu­sed or recy­cled, with 48,7 % reu­sed mate­rial (sor­ting, com­post or construc­tion indus­try) and 41,8 % energy reco­very

9,5 % of waste is not reu­sed, but trans­fer­red to land­fills or treat­ment centres


Objective : increase the volume of sor­ting (packa­ging, paper) by 15 % and the recy­cling of plas­tic packa­ging by 25 %



For the inha­bi­tants of Grenoble-Alpes Métropole : 0 800 500 027

For the inha­bi­tants of the Grésivaudan Community of com­munes : 04 76 08 03 03 (ser­vice déchets)

For the inha­bi­tants of the South Grésivaudan Sictom : 04 76 38 66 03

For the inha­bi­tants of the Community of com­munes of Matheysine, Pays de Corps and Vallées du Valbonnais : 04 76 81 18 24

For the inha­bi­tants of the Community of com­munes of Trièves : 04 76 34 11 22


Traduction from Speak English Center

Phone : +33 4 76 50 39 79

1 ave­nue du Vercors, 38600 Fontaine FRANCE

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