MEPs have voted in overwhelming support of a report on the Circular Economy Action Plan and adopted sweeping measures to extend the life of products, increase access to spare parts and provide better information for consumers.
Free ICT Europe contributed to this report, specifically regarding business-to-business markets and independent repair. Free ICT believes these policies can have a beneficial impact on our environment and help end some of the unacceptable practices in place today that target companies and consumers alike.
The European Parliament’s clear position on repair and reuse raises the bar for policies expected to be worked out by the European Commission. Some of the bold proposals include capping material use and bringing consumption back within planetary boundaries. This will clearly impact the re-use market and extend product lifecycles.
The most relevant elements of this call to action by the European Commission:
• Establishing a new ‘right to repair’, strengthening consumer rights in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets, while preventing waste and improving repairability.
• Free access to repair and maintenance information, including software updates and access to spare parts without unfairly hindering any parties, such as independent repairers.
• Creating mandatory minimum periods of availability for spare parts, and maximum delivery times for a range of product categories.
• Sellers informing market participants through repair and durability labelling on products, possibly in the form of an index or repair score.
• Ban on planned obsolescence and similar practices.
• Address issues of obsolescence and repairability, upgradability and access to software versions.
• Swift finalisation of existing eco-design work on electronics and ICT, i.e. for smartphones, tablets, computers, printers, and network equipment, by no later than 2021
• Designing a take back scheme or collection model in a way that safeguards the re-usability of ICT products and provides re-use operators with access to re-useable goods.
• Linking the new digital product passports to help companies, consumers and market surveillance authorities, providing information about the durability of the product and its maintenance, reuse, repair and dismantling possibilities and end-of-life handling.
• Outline the potential for repair and maintenance sectors, “local, grassroots and community repair initiatives, co-operatives and social enterprises” to create jobs.
Up to 80 percent of the environmental impact of products is determined at the design phase. The global consumption of materials is expected to double in the next forty years, while the amount of waste generated every year is projected to increase by 70 percent by 2050. Half of total greenhouse gas emissions, and more than 90 percent of biodiversity loss and water stress come from extracting and processing resources.
See official announcement here: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20210204IPR97114/circular-economy-meps-call-for-tighter-eu-consumption-and-recycling-rules
Full text: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2021-0040_EN.html
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