EU to introduce new laws to make goods more durable and repairable

European Commission says it is to introduce waste reduction and sustainability measures

The EU is looking at introducing a common mobile phone charger. File photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The EU is looking at introducing a common mobile phone charger. File photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

 

The European Commission said on Wednesday it will introduce new waste reduction targets and sustainability laws to ensure that products placed on the EU market are recyclable, repairable and designed to last longer, in its latest plan to halve waste by 2030.

“The goal in the end is decoupling resource extraction from our economic growth,” the EU’s environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius told reporters in Brussels.

Under the new plan, the European Commission will present new legislation to ban the destruction of unsold durable goods, and restrict products’ single use and premature obsolescence, particularly targeting electronic devices.

The electronics sector has “a massive impact” and “is constantly growing”, Mr Sinkevicius said, adding that the EU is looking at introducing a common mobile phone charger and encouraging consumers to seek repairs.

Additionally, the bloc’s executive would aim to boost the market for sustainable and circular textiles. Only 1 per cent of global textiles are currently recycled.

“Textile is the new plastics,” Mr Sinkevicius said.

Intentionally added microplastics would be restricted and measures would make recycled content and waste reduction mandatory.

The European Commission will also propose a new regulatory framework for batteries and overpackaging, progressively phasing out non-rechargeable batteries and limiting packaging waste.

The plan would still need approval from EU member states and the European Parliament. – Reuters