Will digital labelling drive up consumer recycling?

(EurActiv, 9 Dec 2022) The European Commission is rolling out digital product passports as a way of informing consumers about the environmental impact of their purchases. Can they be a silver bullet to cut waste and boost recycling?

Initially proposed to track the origin of materials used in the manufacturing of goods, advocates have suggested that the digital product passport could also be used to provide information on how to recycle products and their packaging.

“I think if we move towards this world where we have a digital product passport for every product, then we can also make sure that every product will get back to the waste stream where it belongs,” said German Green MEP Malte Gallée who spoke at a EURACTIV event earlier this week.

This is especially true, he argued, because of Europe’s linguistic diversity. By scanning a code, consumers can access the label in their own language immediately.

“There lie opportunities within this passport that we do not even know about right now,” Gallée emphasised.

Others, meanwhile, argue that digital product passports can only address a part of the EU’s waste problem.

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EurActiv, 9 Dec 2022: Will digital labelling drive up consumer recycling?