SustainabilityNew Circular Economy Action Plan promises more sustainable consumer goods

Today, the European Commission adopted its New Circular Economy Action Plan, which is a major part of the European Green Deal presented in December 2019. This agenda seeks to promote Europe's transition towards a climate-neutral circular economy with sustainable and resource-friendly growth.

The action plan encompasses the following measures:

  • To make products more sustainable, the 'Sustainable Product Policy Framework' will ensure that products are designed to last longer, to be reused, repaired and recycled and to consist of as much recycled material as possible.

  • These specifications will apply to all products beyond energy-using and energy-related products currently covered by the Ecodesign Directive.

  • Moreover, single-use products will be restricted, and the destruction of unsold durable goods is to be banned.

  • To strengthen the reparability of products, a 'right to repair' will be embedded in EU consumer and product policies by 2021 requiring that consumer goods can be easily fixed and upgraded.

  • To help consumers make environmentally sustainable decisions, companies will have to disclose reliable product information at the point of sale, especially on the good's durability, reparability, and its environmental performance.

  • In that regard, a European Circular Dataspace will be launched that helps to retrieve digital product information by, for instance, means of a digital product passport.

Monique Goyens, Director General of the European consumer organization BEUC, commented: "This action plan is crucial to make the green transition a reality. If we want consumers to play their part, it should be easy, convenient and affordable for them to shop sustainably, which is far from being the case today. (…) If the market offer becomes more sustainable, consumers will automatically turn to greener products. Sustainable consumption and production are the two sides of the same coin, and the EU Commission’s plan has finally captured this essence."

Source: EC

More information, BEUC press statement and the New Circular Economy Action Plan