E.U. Proposes Rules to Make Products ‘Sustainable’: ‘We Protect Ourselves and the Planet’

The effort to reset the global economy with climate change as a central pillar is targeting everyday consumer products in the European Union.

The European Commission is proposing rules to require everyday items like cell phones, clothing, and furniture to be longer-lasting and easier to repair or recycle.

“Over-consumption of everyday items and the resources to make them is heaping pressure on the environment and driving waste generation, which is set to soar by 70 percent globally by 2050,” Reuters reported.

The Reuters report continued:

High-impact products including textiles, furniture, tyres, paints and steel could be among those targeted first with product-specific rules, which the EU will now develop.

The plans are likely to face lobbying from industries which make goods with short life-spans, while campaigners said the impact would depend on product-specific requirements.

“In this way, we protect ourselves and our planet,” E.U. environment policy chief Virginijus Sinkevicius said in the Reuters report. “We build up resilience in our supply chains and we save money.”

Women search for used clothes amid tons discarded in the Atacama desert, in Alto Hospicio, Iquique, Chile, on September 26, 2021. The textile industry in Chile will be included in the law of Extended Responsibility of the Producer (REP), forcing clothes and textiles importers to take charge of the waste they generate. (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images)

“The document leaves most of the key details to the delegated acts that the (Commission) will work on in the coming years,” Joan Marc Simon, executive director of Zero Waste Europe said.

Products would have an attached “passport” to tell consumers about their “sustainability.”

Textiles are being targeted as “fast fashion,” which would make producers responsible for what happens to textiles at the end of their usefulness.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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