June 30, 2022
On March 30, the European Commission presented its “Circular Economy Package”, which includes a revision of the eco-design framework to promote the marketing of sustainable products.
The HOP association (Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée) said while it welcomes this initiative, the association informed the European institutions of its proposals to improve the ambition of the text and ensure that the products now sold in Europe are truly durable and repairable.
Context: what is the European eco-design framework?
The European Union has the power to set minimum requirements on certain design criteria for products sold in its single market. This is the case of repairability or durability, for example. This is called the eco-design framework.
The European Commission proposes the revision of this framework to extend it to a wide range of products and to strengthen its ambition. Once this general framework has been established and voted on, obligations specific to each product must be set out in specific regulations.
HOP calls for a ban on practices aimed at limiting the repair of products
Today, the proposed framework lists the criteria (durability, repairability, recyclability, reliability, etc.) to which the minimum design and consumer information requirements must relate.
HOP requests that the prohibition of certain harmful practices contributing to the planned obsolescence of products placed on the European market be added, as well as any practice aimed at limiting their repair. Regarding the criteria, HOP requests that requirements also relate to the price of spare parts, and the duration of software support and availability of updates for the products concerned.
Furthermore, HOP wants to prevent manufacturers from offering self-regulation when a product is not yet subject to specific regulations. The risk is that they put forward rules that are not very restrictive, to continue to produce goods that are not very durable. HOP therefore asks that the possibility of self-regulation be removed from the text.
HOP calls for strengthening the means for eco-design
At the same time, the European Commission plans to oblige companies to communicate on their policy for managing unsold goods. HOP said we must go much further and completely ban the destruction of unsold non-food items in all countries of the European Union , as is already the case in France, but by prioritising reuse over recycling.
Finally, faced with the environmental emergency and the scale of the work to be done to set requirements for as many product categories, HOP calls on the European Commission to strengthen its means dedicated to eco-design which are for the insufficient time.
Categories : World Focus