The D.E.A.(1) law has been rocking the furniture industry since 2017. The resulting requirements are indeed significant in the economic equation of a highly competitive market. The targets set for 2022 and 2023 represent significant leaps in efficiency for the industry. However, it seems that a more optimistic reading can be made of this decree, particularly for the logistics sector, in terms of market opportunities but also in terms of innovation.
The decree 2017-1607 of November 27, 2017, and the order of November 27, 2017, defined the technical and financial objectives of the D.E.A. collection sector. According to ADEME, in 2018, 2.69 million tons of furnishing elements were put on the market, which represents 281 million units. 990,000 tons were collected.
Since 2013, the French sector has been organized. To date, three actors are approved for D.E.A.:
|Eco-Organizations||Field of action|
|Household furnishings and professional bedding
Professional furnishings, excluding bedding
Category 6 professional furnishings (kitchen)
In 2020, Eco-mobilier collected 842,000 tons of waste. COVID was responsible for this 4% decrease in volume compared to the previous year. By way of comparison, the sales of the members of the eco-organization in charge of the extended producer responsibility channel for D.E.A. amounted to 2.2 million tons. In 2020, 4.9% of the volumes were reused, 46% were recycled and 42% were energetically recovered. Recycling is down since it was 51% in 2019 as is reuse (6% in 2019).
Valdelia announced that it had processed approximately 100,000 tons of waste in 2020.
And Eco-Logic treated about 200,000 tons of waste in 2020.
From 2021, 1.5% of the D.E.A. held by households and 5% of the rest of the D.E.A. must be made available to social economy actors. A quality criterion allowing 60% of these products to be reused has also been defined.
In 2022, 50% of the D.E.A. collected separately from other waste must be recycled. 90% of this waste will have to be recovered through the following channels
This represents a real asset in terms of logistics but also treatment.
In 2023, 40% of the D.E.A. will have to be collected separately from other waste. This also implies a strong evolution of the sector to be able to separate waste more efficiently.
The actors concerned are the manufacturers (French manufacturers being more numerous than one imagines), the importers (outside the European Union), the introducers (from the European Union), the retailers under its brand and the remote sellers.
These actors have understood this problem for a long time now and therefore master the stakes which are mainly:
The supply chain must also mobilize around this issue. Indeed, it is necessary to transport products, which unlike new furniture with optimized packaging, often occupy large volumes when disassembled, are fragile and fear humidity. There is also a health issue, particularly related to bedding.
The delivery in “XL” pickup points having strongly spread for a few years in France, the problem also concerns these actors (C Chez vous, SmilePickup, etc…) which are likely to offer solutions of recovery of D.E.A. when the customers come to collect their new furniture.
The eco-organization Eco-mobilier, specialized in the collection, launched on October 4, 2021, a call for applications in order to reinforce its territorial network. This represents significant opportunities for the logistics sector (waste transport) but also for the “XL” pickup points sector.
Indeed, the development of the market of furniture sold online is experiencing a very strong growth. In early 2020, the penetration rate for large furniture was only 10% (compared to 15% in Anglo-Saxon countries). Xerfi estimates that 50% of sales in the furniture and decoration market will be made online within 20 years.
This implies a 5-fold increase in the volume of D.E.A. for a sector that is already saturated in terms of collection points, but also in terms of treatment capacity.
Transporters must prepare themselves for a specific market, where the capacity of reuse depends on the capacity to transport the D.E.A. without humidity problems, without damage, and by optimizing the volumes. The current saturation of logistic means will also be a major issue.
In view of the increasingly significant importance of environmental protection in Europe, it is likely that the requirements in terms of recycling rates and in terms of the ability to reintegrate D.E.A. into a “second life” channel will be even more significant. The sector must therefore prepare itself but also anticipate future trends. The design of furniture to make it easier to dismantle and repair is a major challenge for the sector (as it is for the electronics industry). Eco-Mobilier is at the origin of a “collaborative ecodesign” approach.
Innovation must also be used to develop recovery and transfer capacities in recycling units, both in terms of volume and health. There is no doubt that designers of automated logistics platforms will have solutions to propose to resolve these difficulties, as will truck manufacturers.
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