New European Parliament Resolution on longer lifetime for products

On 4 July, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on longer lifetime for products initiated by Greens/EFA MEP Pascal Durand. The report touches upon three major concerns

  • the lack of robustness, durability and repairability of products
  • the need for longer lasting software for ICT
  • consumer information on the environmental performance of products and guarantee period.

The report calls on the Commission to propose a legal definition of the highly-debated term ‘planned obsolescence’.

ECOS is disappointed to see that the ambition of the report has been watered down compared to the original proposal. The final report refers more heavily to voluntary measures as a way of promoting quality products rather than regulations. We fear this will not be sufficient to drive the much-needed model change to a Circular Economy.

At ECOS, we believe that the Commission should ramp up its efforts on promoting longer lifetime for products, notably by requiring minimum design standards and providing an incentive for manufacturers to create better products. The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives are policy tools that can make spare parts available, key components accessible for repair or recycling, and provide information to the consumers on how long their products will possibly last.