EU pushes new ‘circular economy’ rules for everyday items

(EurActiv, 31 Mar 2022) Smartphones, clothes and furniture will have to become longer-lasting and easier to repair and recycle in order to gain access to the EU market under new sustainability rules proposed by the European Union on Wednesday (30 March).

The over-consumption of everyday items and the resources used to make them is heaping pressure on the environment and driving waste generation, which is set to soar by 70% globally by 2050.

On Wednesday (30 March), the European Commission responded with proposals that would require products sold in the EU to comply with standards on circularity, meaning they are durable, can be reused, repaired and recycled, and contain recycled materials.

“In this way, we protect ourselves and our planet. We build up resilience in our supply chains and we save money,” said EU environment policy chief Virginijus Sinkevicius.

The proposals include extending ecodesign beyond energy-related products, tackling unsustainability in textiles and greater consumer protection, including banning vague environmental claims.

“We want sustainable products to become the norm on the European market,” said EU Green Deal chief Frans Timmermans.

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EurActiv, 31 Mar 2022: EU pushes new ‘circular economy’ rules for everyday items