Ban on Destruction of Unsold Products Planned

news 12-Jul-2023 Business

Ban on Destruction of Unsold Products Planned

The European Parliament has approved the Eco-design Regulation, which aims to make products last longer and be easier to repair. The regulation also includes a ban on the destruction of unsold textiles and electronic devices.

The European Parliament has voted in favor of a proposal by the European Commission to ban the destruction of unsold textiles and electronic devices. The regulation, known as the Eco-design Regulation, was supported by a large majority of MEPs in Strasbourg. Its objective is to improve the sustainability and lifespan of products within the European Union. This vote now allows negotiations between countries and the Parliament to commence.

In some aspects, the European Parliament is demanding even stricter consumer protection measures. "It is time to put an end to the economic model of a throwaway society – 'take, make, dispose,'" stated Italian Social Democrat MEP Alessandra Moretti, who was in charge of the Parliament's report on the issue.

The aim is to make sustainable products the norm, enabling consumers to "save energy, facilitate repairs, and make smart environmental choices while shopping." To achieve this, the lifespan of a product should not be limited by "design features." According to the proposed legislation, software updates, spare parts, and accessories must be "available for a reasonable period of time."

In addition, a digital product passport is intended to increase transparency and provide consumers with up-to-date information on product sustainability. The ban on the destruction of unsold goods primarily targets the phenomenon of "fast fashion."

The EU Commission claims that the production of cheap shoes and clothing, which end up being shredded when no suitable buyer is found, has been exacerbated in recent years by online retail.

In March 2022, the Commission presented its draft regulation, and in May of this year, the EU member states reached a preliminary agreement on their negotiating position. With the Parliament now on board, negotiations with the member states can begin to finalize the legislation.

Praise from the Clothing Foundation

The German Clothing Foundation has welcomed the European Commission's proposals for a circular economy in textiles. Ulrich Müller, the Foundation's Executive Director, emphasized the urgent need for responsible waste management in this sector. According to the EU Commission, only 22% of shoes and clothing are currently being reused, while the rest ends up in landfills or is incinerated.

Overall, this move by the European Parliament to ban the destruction of unsold products and strengthen consumer rights in terms of product lifespan and sustainability is a significant step toward a more environmentally-friendly and responsible approach to consumption and waste management. It sends a clear message that the throwaway mentality of our society needs to be challenged, and a shift toward a circular economy is necessary for a sustainable future.

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