Ecological products policy
The EEB Working Group on Ecological Product Policy aims at improving conservation of natural resources through implementation of EU Product Policies. The scope and priorities of this group for the coming years (2016-2019) will be mainly determined by the proposals on the so called Circular Economy Package, published by the European Commission on 2 December 2015. But there are also links to the broader EU agenda and initiatives on resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production, waste and chemicals policies, environmental footprint, eco-labelling and green procurement policies.
Through its Make Resources Count campaign the EEB pushes for a fair policy framework, information schemes and economic incentives for longer lasting, more reparable and recyclable products, as well as increased use of recycled material. Furthermore stronger links should be established with EU policies on chemicals to prevent the use of hazardous materials and to avoid their re-injection in the economy within recycled material. Existing instruments such as Ecodesign, Ecolabel and Green Public Procurement need to be reinforced to deliver more than today. The implementation of the EU Circular Economy Package creates a major opportunity to promote ideas in those directions, to link more product and waste policy and ensure that regulatory framework conditions are supportive of a more resource-saving society.
The production of new appliances and the associated consumption of primary raw materials cause significant environmental impacts that can be mitigated by keeping products, components and materials at their highest utility and value as long as possible.
Amongst other issues the EEB will be working on the following aspects of the circular economy:
Put stronger emphasis on product requirements relevant to the circular economy in future work under the Ecodesign directive (Reparability, Durability, Recyclability)
Ensure that circular economy aspects are addressed in a more consistent way through the different strands of EU Product Polices including criteria development for Green Public Procurement and Ecolabel
Scrutinize the set up of an independent testing programme on identification of issues related to planned obsolescence and a possible horizontal measure on repair information provision
Look into better ways to enforce consumer rights such as legal guarantees and access to information
Push for clear directions how to deal with critical raw materials and plastics in the circular economy
Improve exchange of information on products throughout the value chain between manufacturers, independent service providers and recyclers
Promote the creation of clean, non-toxic material cycles and high quality of secondary raw materials and remanufacturing processes
The Working Group on Ecological Products Policy meets once or twice a year and is coordinated by Carsten Wachholz, EEB Resource Use and Product Policy Officer.
The next Working Group meeting will take place on 20 and 21 January 2016 in Brussels as a joint meeting with the EEB Waste Working Group to evaluate the Commission’s proposals and to develop a joint position on the EU Circular Economy Package.
- April 5, 2016
- EEB Position Paper on the Circular Economy Package
- April 24, 2015
- The Circular Economy and REACH – an essential partnership