11 March 2020

Press Release: The new Circular Economy Action Plan promises ecodesign for all

ECOS, an environmental NGO with expertise in ecodesign and standardisation, is pleased to see the European Commission’s commitment to placing ecodesign principles at the heart of the EU’s sustainable product policy. The list of Key Product Value Chains, outlined in the Circular Economy Action Plan released today, correctly prioritises the high environmental impact sectors where specific actions are needed. Only with ambitious laws and targets, however, can these sectors truly become more circular.

The Circular Economy Action Plan seeks to introduce a policy framework that can mainstream more sustainable production and consumption, without compromising the Earth’s carrying capacity. The newly announced Sustainable Product Policy Framework is a welcome step, extending ecodesign principles to a broader range of sectors, including those which have so far escaped dedicated environmental laws – such as textiles, batteries and construction.

Ecodesign, a true success story of European legislation, has delivered genuine energy savings, and greatly contributed to promoting circularity of products, benefitting both the environment and consumers. These principles can now deliver the same level of success in the new areas identified today.

Justin Wilkes, Executive Director of ECOS, said:

We welcome the Commission’s move, as we have been calling for ecodesign principles to be applied to new sectors such as plastics, batteries, textiles and construction. As most environmental impacts are designed in, removing poorly designed and environmentally harmful products from the market is an effective way to achieve a circular economy. 

Formerly untouched by dedicated environmental legislation, construction will be one of the newcomers to be subjected to circular economy laws. 
 
Michael Neaves, ECOS Programme Manager, said:

The construction sector is in need of a comprehensive and ambitious framework based on strong targets to deliver decarbonisation and a circular economy. We expect the Strategy for a Sustainable Built Environment to include specific targets and mandatory measures to dramatically cut the resource use of construction, and drive improvements in the environmental performance of materials, products and buildings. The proper implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan provides a golden opportunity to go green, but the time to act is now.

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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