As reported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), the EU Competition Council in Brussels adopted the common position on the new Ecodesign Regulation on 22 May 2023. A novelty is the introduction of the Digital Product Passport.
Sustainable products are to become the standard in the EU. In future, only products that are durable and repairable, as well as reusable and recyclable, and that comply with the regulations for sustainable products will be approved in the EU. The senseless destruction of usable goods is prohibited. This is particularly important in the case of textiles, as masses of new goods are currently being destroyed here. The digital product passport also aims to strengthen the rights of consumers across the EU, who will be fully informed about the environmental footprint of each product and thus be able to make a deliberate choice in favour of particularly sustainable products.
The Ecodesign Regulation is a central component of the European Green Deal, with which the EU has set itself the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Unlike the previously applicable Ecodesign Directive, the new regulation will apply not only to energy-related products, but to almost all physical products. In future, the Ecodesign Regulation will provide the legal framework with which requirements for environmental protection and resource conservation can be imposed on products. In the future, new product regulations will set requirements on, for example, durability, interchangeability of individual parts, reparability, reuse, resource efficiency or Carbon footprint. The Ecodesign Regulation takes the entire life cycle into account. In addition, the use of recycled materials will be reinforced. This is central to ensuring that more materials are recycled and kept in circulation.
The new Ecodesign Regulation does not itself impose any direct requirements on products. However, it specifies which requirements should and can be made in future product regulations. The Commission will present a timetable for the development of priority-status product regulations.
After deciding on their “General Approach”, the EU Member States will negotiate the final draft of the Ecodesign Regulation with the Commission and the European Parliament in what is known as the trilogue procedure. The regulation will then be finally adopted in the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
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