The European Parliament has approved a proposal for strict rules regarding the durability of consumer goods. Artificial ageing and the destruction of unsold products will be banned.
No planned obsolescence
The lifespan of a product should not be determined by design features, or the absence of software updates or spare parts. The European Parliament decided this week that even for older appliances, ink cartridges or coffee pods – for example – are no longer available. The initiative fits within the Green Deal.
MEPs approved a proposal by the European Commission to tighten the rules on eco-design. For instance, products must soon be easy to repair and consumers themselves must have access to repair guidelines.
Products will need passport
Another important decision is that the EU wants products to always have a “product passport”, showing their composition and environmental impact. Europe hopes this will allow consumers and businesses to make more informed choices. The energy labels on washing machines and refrigerators, for example, are said to have already reduced energy consumption by 10 % for those appliances.
Even more radical is the ban on the destruction of unsold clothes and electrical and electronic appliances. Parliament also demands of producers and retailers to report annually how many products they throw away and why.
However, there is no concrete law yet. Now that there is approval from the European Parliament, negotiations can begin with member states on real legislation. Textiles, furniture and iron are already among the priority sectors, for which practical rules will be worked out from next year.