Ecodesign for a true European Circular Economy

In a panel discussion at the Circular Economy Conference organised by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, ECOS Director Laura Degallaix highlighted the importance of EU Ecodesign Policy in a Circular Economy. The conference examined the state of implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan a year after its launch.

Degallaix noted that up to 90% of the environmental impacts of products happen at the design stage. Ecodesign policy can help make products more durable, curtail premature obsolescence, and make products more reparable and easier to upgrade.

By introducing resource efficiency into Ecodesign, the EU can enable recyclability, foster remanufacturing, and increase the share of recycled materials and components in products.

Degallaix urged for the establishment of both horizontal and product-by-product resource efficiency requirements, combined with the development of clear, quantifiable, and measurable indicators and robust associated assessment methods.

There are standards under development in response to the Commission’s standardisation request on material efficiency (M/543) but since these won’t be ready before 2019, regulatory initiatives are needed.

Watch the panel session in full here.