Just in: new EU sustainability rules ban destructing unsold textiles and footwear!
EU Parliament Takes a Stand Against Waste: New Rules Ban Premature Obsolescence and Destruction of Unsold Textiles and Footwear.
The European Parliament's committee on the environment, public health, and food safety (ENVI) has taken a groundbreaking step towards promoting sustainability and fighting premature obsolescence. The committee has officially banned manufacturers from limiting the lifetime of products through design features, a practice known as premature obsolescence. In addition, there will be a specific ban on the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear just one year after the law comes into effect.
Under the new rules, companies will be required to make software updates, consumables, spare parts, and accessories available for an appropriate period of time. Products must be designed for easy repair, and consumers should have access to repair guidelines. The aim is to ensure that products in the European Union (EU) are more environmentally friendly, circular, and energy-efficient throughout their lifecycle.
The committee's proposals have been adopted with an overwhelming majority of 68 votes in favor, 12 against, and 8 abstentions. These revisions to the EU's eco-design framework for sustainable products are set to have a far-reaching impact on consumer choices and the environmental footprint of products.
One key aspect of the new rules is the introduction of a "product passport" requirement. This passport will contain accurate and up-to-date information about the product, enabling consumers and businesses to make informed choices when purchasing items. The product passport will facilitate repairs and recycling while increasing transparency about the environmental impact of the product.
MEPs are also advocating for the creation of an online platform where consumers can compare product passports, promoting greater transparency and awareness among buyers. Economic operators who engage in the destruction of unsold goods will be required to report the annual number and percentage of discarded products, along with the reasons behind their actions. This data will inform the Commission's decision on introducing a destruction ban for certain products.
In the Commission's first working plan, which is to be adopted within three months after the new rules take effect, priority will be given to product groups such as textiles (including garments and footwear), furniture, tyres, detergents, paints, lubricants, and chemicals. These sectors will be at the forefront of sustainable practices and innovation in line with the EU's commitment to a greener future.
The new EU sustainability rules mark a significant milestone in the fight against waste and environmental degradation. By banning premature obsolescence and the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear, the EU is taking a bold step towards a more sustainable and circular economy.
Stay tuned for more updates on these groundbreaking sustainability measures as they unfold!