June 22, 2023
New rules to make products last longer and be easier to repair, upgrade, recycle and a ban on the destruction of unsold textiles and electronic appliances and will prioritise ecodesign requirements for e.g. steel, textiles, furniture, tyres, chemicals.
Recently, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its position on revising the EU’s ecodesign framework for sustainable products with 68 votes in favour, 12 against and 8 abstentions.
The ENVI report bans premature obsolescence, which means that manufacturers must not limit the lifetime of a product through design features and must make available software updates, consumables, spare parts and accessories for an appropriate period. Products should also be easy to repair, and consumers should have access to repair guidelines.
To empower consumers and businesses in making environmentally conscious choices, a “product passport” will be required for all products sold. This passport will contain accurate and up-to-date information, allowing users to compare products and make informed decisions. By facilitating repairs, recycling, and increasing transparency regarding the environmental impact of products, the passport will play a vital role in driving sustainable practices within the B2B sector.
In an effort to combat waste, economic operators will be compelled to report the number and percentage of unsold goods they discard annually, along with the reasons for disposal. Based on this data, the EU Commission will identify products for which a destruction ban should be implemented. Notably, a specific ban on the destruction of unsold textiles, footwear, and electrical and electronic equipment will be introduced one year after the law’s enactment. This measure aims to reduce waste and encourage alternative practices such as recycling and repurposing.
Alessandra Moretti, the rapporteur for the proposed legislation, highlights the necessity of moving away from the linear “take, make, dispose” model. She asserts that the new regulations will ensure that products are designed with the well-being of the planet, people’s health, and the economy in mind. By normalizing sustainable practices, B2B customers will have the opportunity to save energy, benefit from easier repairs, and make informed environmentally friendly choices that can yield long-term cost savings.
The report is scheduled for adoption during the July 2023 plenary sitting, and it will serve as Parliament’s negotiating position with EU member states to finalize the legislation. The proposed ecodesign rules are part of a comprehensive circular economy package that includes strategies for sustainable textiles and empowering consumers for the green transition.
Categories : World Focus