European Parliament sets path for better products for people and the environment

A dumpster of recyclable electronics sits at the Dover Air Force Base Recycling Center April 18, 2016, on Dover Air Force Base. Electronics, such as old keyboards, monitors and microwaves can be recycled. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

Manufacturers should place durable, repairable and recyclable products on the EU market in addition to making them energy efficient. This is the vision set by the European Parliament in a report calling for better Ecodesign. [1]

The European Parliament has voted today in favour of measures to make consumer goods, like TVs and other home appliances, longer lasting and repairable.

Praising the Ecodesign policy, which saves consumers energy and money, they also want to see faster decision-making and better market surveillance.

The Coolproducts coalition said the vote is an important step forward to reduce waste and protect consumers.

Coolproducts is a campaign led by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and ECOSworking to ensure a better product policy for European citizens and the environment.

With today’s vote, the Parliament has requested the introduction of resource efficiency requirements in the EU legislation on product design known as Ecodesign. [2]

The report argues that better product design is necessary to transition to a circular economy, where waste is prevented, and to meet the agreed national targets to curb CO2 emissions.

Ecodesign have so far mainly focused on making fridges, TVs and other appliances more energy efficient – generating both energy and monetary savings across the EU. [3]

Stephane Arditi, policy manager at the EEB and coordinator of Coolproducts, said:

“Europe’s ‘take-make-use-throw’ economy is costing consumers money and choking our environment. Given its success, it makes sense to expand ecodesign to make products that last longer and are easier to repair and recycle.”

Arditi added:

“With 80% of the environmental impacts of products determined at design stage, better product design is necessary to transition to a circular economy.”[4]

It is now expected that the EU Commission, and the national authorities, will take up the recommendations supported by an overwhelming majority of the directly elected members of the European Parliament. [5].

The clear call of the European Parliament for an ambitious implementation of the Ecodesign policy comes just in time as Commission and Member States are currently finalising a package of up to 20 product-specific measures, which should be adopted in November.
ENDS

Notes for editors

Notes for editors

[1] See report on the implementation of Ecodesign by MEP Frédérique Ries

[2] The Ecodesign Directive gradually removes from the market the least efficient products by setting standards that demand a certain level of performance. Meanwhile, the Energy Labelling regulation pulls consumers towards the best products by giving them an impartial A to G ranking based on their energy efficiency.

[3] The European Commission estimates that, thanks to Ecodesign and Energy Labelling, every home in Europe will see their energy bills reduced by nearly €500 per year. Greenhouse Gas emissions will also be cut by 319 megatonnes per year, which is equal to taking about seven million cars off the road.

[4] By increasing recycling rates and the amount of reusable materials and products policy makers have the opportunity to:

  • Create over 800,000 new jobs in the remanufacturing, repair and recycling sectors;
  • Help save more than €70 billion a year;
  • Reduce EU dependency on foreign suppliers and manufacturers outside of Europe;
  • Save huge amounts of energy compared to extracting virgin resources, and
  • Promote innovation in material use, product design and business models.
[5] The report was supported by 561 votes, and rejected only by 45 members

 

For more information:

Ian Carey, Communications Manager at the EEB

Ian.carey@eeb.org

+32 2 289 13 09