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European Parliament backs new ecodesign standards, Euratex raises concerns

By Huw Hughes


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EU flags Credits: Unsplash

As part of Europe’s broader crack down on unsustainable practices across industries, the EU Parliament has agreed on its negotiating position for new ecodesign standards to ensure products last longer and can more easily be repaired, upgraded, and recycled.

The EU Parliament’s proposed law, which is part of its wider circular economy package, aims to ensure the lifetime of a product is not limited through design features.

Additionally, a proposed new “product passport” looks to improve transparency and help consumers make informed purchasing choices.

On Wednesday, the majority of members of EU Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of revising the EU’s ecodesign framework for sustainable products following a report prepared by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI.

A total of 473 members voted in favour, 110 against, and 69 abstained.

The EU Parliament will now begin talks with national governments on the final form of the law.

“It’s time to end the ‘take, make, dispose’ model which is so harmful to our planet, our health and our economy,” said rapporteur Alessandra Moretti in a statement.

She said the law will ensure new products are designed in a way “that brings benefits to everyone and which respects our planet’s boundaries and protects the environment”.

“Sustainable products will become the norm, allowing consumers to save energy, make repairs easier, and make smart environmental choices when they shop - saving themselves money in the long run,” Moretti said.

Euratex, an industry body representing 160,000 European textile companies, generally welcomed the proposal, but said it “regrets the European Parliament’s approach to target the textile industry in a Regulation designed to be a framework legislation for all sectors”.

It said the European Parliament has “overlooked the plea for legislative coherence on substances of concern and for keeping the ESPR aligned with existing chemical legislation to avoid overlapping or conflicting regulation”.

“Euratex advises that social sustainability aspects should be addressed within the due diligence legislative framework,” it said.

Regarding the future Ecodesign requirements for textiles, “these will have to be based on reliable data, and supported by thorough analysis and impact assessments”, it said. “The requirements should be set out in the textile-specific Delegated Act and should be developed with relevant stakeholders.”

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