EU to Force Products to Last Longer, Ban Fast Fashion Waste: New Ecodesign Rules
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- New “ecodesign” rules for products to last longer and be easier to repair, upgrade and recycle
- Ban on destroying unsold clothing and footwear
- Sustainability requirements should be prioritised for e.g. steel, textiles, furniture, tyres, chemicals
Parliament and Council negotiators agreed on an update to the so-called “ecodesign” regulation that aims to improve various aspects of products throughout their lifecycle to make them more durable and reliable, easier to reuse, upgrade, repair and recycle, use less resources, energy and water. Specific product requirements will be outlined by the Commission through secondary legislation.
Negotiators agreed that ecodesign requirements should also address practices associated with premature obsolescence (when a product becomes non-functional or less performant due to, for example, product design features, unavailability of consumables and spare parts, lack of software updates).
At Parliament’s initiative, negotiators agreed that the Commission should prioritise a number of product groups in its first working plan to be adopted no later than nine months after the entry into force of the new legislation. These priority products include iron, steel, aluminium, textiles (notably garments and footwear), furniture, tyres, detergents, paints, lubricants and chemicals.
Digital “product passports” containing accurate and up-to-date information will enable consumers to make informed purchasing choices. According to the agreed text, the Commission will manage a public web portal allowing consumers to search and compare information included in product passports.
Reporting and bans on the destruction of unsold consumer products
Economic operators that destroy unsold goods would have to report annually the quantities of products they discarded as well as their reasons why. Negotiators agreed to specifically ban the destruction of unsold apparel, clothing accessories and footwear, two years after the entry into force of the law (six years for medium-sized enterprises). In the future, the Commission may add additional categories to the list of unsold products for which a destruction ban should be introduced.