EU aiming high for “Green new deal”
Waste prevention, including harder restrictions on e-waste, will be a top priority for the European Commission in the coming four years.
The European Commission’s newly published European Green Deal vows to prioritize policies aimed at avoiding waste. These include making as many products as possible more easily repairable and reusable by design.
The ambitious document outlines future policy priorities, meant to help Europe reach carbon neutrality by 2050. This year, 2020, the Commission will launch its second Circular Economy Action Plan and a new Ecodesign Working Plan. Among other things, these include laws making our smartphones and laptops last longer.
Met by positive reactions
“It’s fantastic to see waste prevention taken seriously,” said Piotr Barczak, a policy officer at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). Barczak welcomed the promise by the Commission to set up targets for the reduction of waste, particularly packaging, which will need to be reusable or recyclable by 2030. The Right to Repair movement is mentioned in the strategy.
“Repair is essential to avoid waste and reduce the increasing emissions linked to manufacturing,” Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, another policy officer at the EEB concluded.
Longer life span, shorter ownership
An interesting aspect of prolonging the life span of electronic products is that consumers tend to trade in their e-products more and more frequent. Many consumers want “the latest”, if they can afford it. So, the trend is that electronic products last longer but they tend to have more owners before finally being retired.