‘Ecodesign’ rules have already been adopted for certain products that have a substantial impact on energy or fuel efficiency, such as windows and car tyres. These rules are aimed at improving the product design in order to reduce the environmental impact of the product in question throughout its production and useful life. In the interests of conserving resources, the European Commission should urgently assess which further product categories such regulations should be introduced for. vzbv is of the opinion that ecodesign requirements could be particularly beneficial for higher priced products such as furniture and other home fixtures and fittings. The sustainability of mobile phones should also be improved as a matter of urgency to address the flagrant imbalance between the staggering amount of resources used to manufacture information and communications technology products and their very limited lifespan. This current imbalance is not only harmful for the environment but also costly to consumers. The European Commission needs to pursue a more ambitious action plan with regard to the number of products covered by ecodesign rules and the implementation timelines.
Any amendments to ecodesign rules need to be consistently aligned with durability, repairability, upgradeability and recyclability requirements. In its 2015 Action Plan for the Circular Economy, the European Commission stipulated that products should be more durable and repairable. Unfortunately, no real progress has been made since then.