The European Parliament and EU Council struck a deal Tuesday on an update to the Ecodesign Regulation, which establishes a framework for setting ecodesign requirements for sustainable products. The agreement on the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation aims to improve various aspects of products throughout their lifecycle to make them more durable and reliable, easier to reuse, upgrade, repair and recycle, use less resources, energy and water. Specific product requirements are to be outlined by the Commission through secondary legislation.

The ecodesign requirements will also address practices associated with premature obsolescence (when a product becomes non-functional or less performant due to, for example, product design features, unavailability of consumables and spare parts, lack of software updates). The Commission will prioritise a number of product groups in its first working plan to be adopted no later than nine months after the entry into force of the new legislation. These priority products include iron, steel, aluminium, textiles (notably garments and footwear), furniture, tyres, detergents, paints, lubricants and chemicals.

Digital ‘product passports’ containing accurate and up-to-date information will enable consumers to make informed purchasing choices. According to the agreed text, the Commission will manage a public web portal allowing consumers to search and compare information included in product passports. Economic operators that destroy unsold goods would have to report annually the quantities of products they discarded as well as their reasons why.

Negotiators agreed to specifically ban the destruction of unsold apparel, clothing accessories and footwear, two years after the entry into force of the law (six years for medium-sized enterprises). In the future, the Commission may add additional categories to the list of unsold products for which a destruction ban should be introduced.

Source: EUbusiness

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