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    December 13, 2023

    EU's bold step towards sustainable products

    The European Parliament and the Council have recently reached a provisional agreement on the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR). 


    Aiming for sustainability norms

    The agreement aims to make sustainable products the norm within the EU by focusing on longevity, energy and resource efficiency, repairability, and recyclability.

    Global impact

    The ESPR will have a worldwide impact by setting requirements for almost all products entering the EU market. Non-EU manufacturers wanting  to sell their products  in the EU must make sure their products meet the ESPR's requirements.

    Product focus

    One of the significant aspects of this agreement is the empowerment given to the European Commission to compile and routinely update a list of products falling under the regulations. Priority will be given to impactful items, including energy-related products, ICT products, textiles (garments and footwear), furniture (mattresses included), iron and steel, aluminium, tyres, paints, lubricants, and chemicals.


    Beyond energy efficiency

    The Ecodesign requirements extend beyond energy efficiency, aiming to enhance circularity in product life cycles. This includes criteria such as product durability, reusability, upgradability, and repairability. Additionally, it addresses the presence of chemical substances hindering reuse and recycling, energy and resource efficiency, recycled content, carbon and environmental footprints, and the provision of product information, notably through a 'Digital Product Passport'.


    Consumer empowerment

    Introducing a 'Digital Product Passport' marks a significant step towards transparency. This will provide consumers and businesses instant access to vital information regarding a product's sustainability. Furthermore, additional product information, potentially through labels, will guide consumers towards informed and sustainable choices.


    Ban on destruction of unsold consumer products 

    The regulation includes measures to directly ban the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear products. Small companies receive derogations, and medium-sized ones are granted a transition period. Large companies will be required to disclose annually the number of unsold consumer products discarded and the reasons behind these actions.


    Next steps

    The European Parliament and the Council will formally adopt the new Regulation, which will come into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.

    A working plan will be adopted to determine the products to be targeted under the new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation.


    Read more on the official website of the European Union.


    Learn more about Ecodesign.


    Nastaraan Vadoodi

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