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ETIRA lobbies EU on circular economy

May 6, 2015

The European trade association is lobbying the EU to “promote reuse” in its forthcoming policies.ETIRARlogosmall

The European Commission revealed in January this year that it would ditch its circular economy package despite objections from EU Parliament and environment ministers; with EU sources stating that “the final decision has been taken and nothing could be foreseen that would change the executive’s mind at this stage”. However, the Commission has “promis[ed] a better and even more environmentally-friendly alternative proposal” later this year.

Oakdene Hollins, which operates the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse, discussed the policies and changes it would like the EU to consider this week, and now industry association ETIRA has revealed that it is “doing informal lobbying to promote reuse” with the commission. The association argues that “reuse should receive a higher priority than it has today”, and that existing “eco-friendly policies are often merely a piece of paper: they fail to deliver a tangible increase in the reuse of products”.

In terms of eco-design, ETIRA referred to the Voluntary Agreement on Imaging Equipment, the “escape clause” for which has “allowed OEMs to dodge the obligations stemming from the agreement”. It also referred to the Ecolabel imaging equipment criteria, and stated “although these are very useful criteria, there is still not a single printer in the EU market carrying the Ecolabel because the OEMs purport that they cannot produce a printer which meets the overly strict Ecolabel critera”.

ETIRA added: “That is why ETIRA insists that for a real circular economy to happen, there should be clear quantitative targets set for reuse that member states must go for. Tools include strict regulatory action on eco-design (no clever chips) and the removal of legal barriers which frustrate remanufacturing (patents and other IP rights). And we need the government to lead by example: public tenders should reserve a minimum percentage of the tendered volume for remanufactured products.”

The association will “provide input into the EU stakeholder consultation process on the circular economy which is currently ongoing”, as well as attend a related conference in Brussels this June.

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