Circular Economy Package - making sustainable products the norm
On 30 March, the European Commission launched its Circular Economy Package, including a Proposal for a Directive on empowering consumers for the green transition, an EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles and a Proposal for a Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products.
Proposal for a Directive on empowering consumers for the green transition
The Commission is proposing to amend the Consumer Rights Directive to oblige traders to provide consumers with information on products' durability and reparability. This includes providing relevant information on repairs, such as the reparability score, the availability of spare parts or a repair manual.
The Commission is also proposing adding new practices to the existing list of prohibited unfair commercial practices, the so-called ‘black list'. The new rules will ban displaying sustainability labels that are not based on an independent third-party verification system or established by public authorities.
EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles
The strategy sets concrete actions to ensure that by 2030 textile products placed on the EU market are long-lived and recyclable, made as much as possible of recycled fibres, free of hazardous substances and produced in respect of social rights and the environment. In turn, consumers will benefit from high quality textiles and economically profitable re-use and repair services should be widely available.
The specific measures will include ecodesign requirements for textiles, clearer information, a Digital Product Passport and a mandatory EU extended producer responsibility scheme.
Proposal for a Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products
The proposal sets new requirements to make products more durable, reliable, reusable, upgradable, reparable, easier to maintain, refurbish and recycle, and energy and resource-efficient. All regulated products will have Digital Product Passports which may include information such as the environmental footprint of a product, information useful for recycling purposes, the recycled content of a certain material, information about the supply chain, and others.
The Commission also adopted an Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Working Plan 2022-2024 to cover new energy-related products as a transitionary measure until the new regulation enters into force. It notably addresses consumer electronics.