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Eco-design Directive: A very small step towards more sustainable products

Date

24 Apr 2009

Sections

Health & Consumers

ANEC, the European Consumer Voice in Standardisation and BEUC, the European Consumers Organisation, have expressed their disappointment with today’s vote in the European Parliament on the revision of the Eco-design Directive (first reading agreement). The Eco-design Directive,
which currently covers energy-using products such as televisions and domestic appliances, will hardly be extended.

Initially, eco-design was put in place to ensure certain categories of products are manufactured in an energy efficient way; hence the extension to so-called energy-related products (windows, insulation materials and shower heads). BEUC and ANEC regret that the future directive will not achieve its full potential as it will not be extended to all consumer products that have a
considerable environmental impact.

For BEUC and ANEC, eco-design should be turned into a key instrument, aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of a product during its whole life-cycle through adapted design, without compromising its functional quality and safety. Although the new directive puts greater emphasis
on resource efficiency, it should also have addressed all relevant environmental impacts in all the life-cycle phases of products, such as the use of dangerous chemicals, waste production and recycling. Only mandatory environmental requirements will help the EU achieve its climate change targets for the year 2020 and beyond.
“Eco-design is a crucial tool to make products more sustainable and help consumers act more sustainably. We call on the European Commission to set up ambitious objectives in the future that cover a much wider range of products, including those products that are not energy related but still bear an environmental impact, such as textiles, furniture and paper based products” stated
Monique Goyens, BEUC Director General.

Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary-General, added: “Eco-design means designing a product taking into account its environmental impacts during the whole life cycle. We regret that the new directive has not fully embraced this concept and continues to favour energy efficiency over chemical content or recycling potential.”

ENDS

B E U C - Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs - The European Consumers’ Organisation rue d’Arlon 80 B-1040 Bruxelles, Tél: (+32-2) 789 24 01, Fax: (+32-2) 740.28.02
press@beuc.eu - www.beuc.eu
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A N E C - The European Consumer Voice in Standardisation
Av. de Tervueren 32, box 27 , B-1040 Bruxelles, Tél.: (+32-2) 743.24.70,

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