The government wants to reduce the digital footprint on the environment.

A large part being attributed to the manufacture of electronic devices, the executive wants to push the sector of reconditioning.

Less expensive and more ecological, these refurbished products are gradually seducing the French.

How to reconcile digital and ecology?

This is the dilemma the government is grappling with.

He presented a roadmap on Tuesday with 15 measures to green digital uses.

It is a sector which nevertheless represents between 5 and 10% of France's environmental footprint.

Three quarters of digital pollution comes from the manufacture of electronic devices.

This is why the executive wants to democratize the use of refurbished products, such as refurbished phones.

He relies heavily on a growing sector.

>> Find Europe Matin in replay and podcast here

The state wants 20% of refurbished devices in its purchases

The state will also set an example.

In its "digital and environment" roadmap, it has set itself a target: 20% of its purchases of electronic devices (telephones, laptops and landlines, accessories) will have to be made progressively from refurbished equipment.

An "ambitious" course, according to Bercy, who specifies that we are talking about at least "several tens of thousands" of devices.

But no deadline has been set.

"It will take a little time. A first assessment will be made in 18 months", explains Cédric O.

If the state is doing its part, it relies above all on the general public.

An awareness campaign on "less polluting digital practices", led by Ademe, the Environment and Energy Management Agency, will be rolled out during the year.

The reuse reflex will be one of the major axes of the government's communication.

Today, one in three French people has already bought a refurbished electronic device, proof that this practice, which dates back to the early 2000s, has gained ground.

But there is still a good room for improvement.

The French familiarize themselves with reconditioning

"These are positive announcements. It is the meaning of history to move from the new economy to the circular economy", rejoices Thibaud Hug de Larauze, co-founder of Back Market, the leading site in France for sales. refurbished electronic devices.

Today, the entire resale process can be done online, and buying refurbished products has multiple benefits for consumers.

"The devices are sold cheaper than the new one so there is a gain in purchasing power. On the other hand, the average trade-in price is 150 euros on the Back Market. And even when it is less, it must be said that, for the planet, it is better to resell it than to leave it lying around at the bottom of a drawer. "

Especially since resale is the basis of the economy of reuse.

"Being able to source and stock up on second-hand products is an important challenge for us", confirms Thibaud Hug de Larauze at the microphone of Europe 1. "60% of orders made in France on our site are carried out by French refurbishers. We go up to 77% if we expand to the European Union. The idea is to switch to 100% of refurbished products in Europe in the long term. To achieve this, we must educate the French and encourage them to resell them. products he no longer uses. "

21 million euros to boost a fragile sector

The sector must still follow.

Behind the big players, such as Back Market, Remade or Recommerce, which show annual growth in double or even triple digits, there is a whole more fragile ecosystem.

"We estimate between 600 and 1,000 the number of companies which collect and refurbish our used devices, in France", specifies to Europe 1 Jean-Lionel Laccourreye, president of SIRRMIET, the Interprofessional Syndicate of the reconditioning and regeneration of materials IT, electronics and telecoms.

"Very often very small structures have gone from simple repair to refurbishment."


Tax on refurbished smartphones: is the circular economy threatened?

As part of its "digital and environment" roadmap, the government will release 21 million euros to help these companies and structure a reuse sector.

"If we create demand, the supply will follow", we assure Bercy.

The signage of this envelope is still under discussion with professionals in the sector.

"We would like it to be used to develop training and to finance investment in test equipment for reconditioning, which is sometimes expensive," hopes Jean-Lionel Laccourreye.

The arbitrations must be rendered during 2021.