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EU presents package of proposals to boost Europe’s sustainability and independence

The European Commission has presented a package of proposals to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, boost circular business models and empower consumers for the green transition.

“It’s time to end the model of take, make, break and throw away that is so harmful to our planet, our health and our econom,” said Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans. “Today’s proposals will ensure that only the most sustainable products are sold in Europe. They allow consumers to save energy, repair and not replace broken product, and make smart environmental choices when they are shopping for new ones. This is how we bring balance back in our relationship with nature and reduce our vulnerability to disruptions in global supply chains.”

As announced in the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission is proposing new rules to make almost all physical goods on the EU market more friendly to the environment, circular and energy efficient throughout their whole lifecycle from the design phase through to daily use, repurposing and end-of-life. Now the Commission is presenting a new strategy to make textiles more durable, repairable, reusable and recyclable, to tackle fast fashion, textile waste and the destruction of unsold textiles and ensure their production takes place in full respect of social rights.

A third proposal aims to boost the internal market for construction products and ensure that the regulatory framework in place is fit for making the built environment deliver on our sustainability and climate objectives.

Finally, the package includes a proposal on new rules to empower consumers in the green transition so that consumers are better informed about the environmental sustainability of products and better protected against greenwashing.

With today’s proposals, the Commission is presenting the tools to move to a truly circular economy in the EU: decoupled from energy- and resource dependencies, more resilient to external shocks and respectful of nature and people’s health.

The proposals build on the success of EU’s existing Ecodesign rules, which have brought remarkable reductions in EU’s energy consumption and significant savings to consumers. In 2021 alone, existing ecodesign requirements saved consumers 120 billion euros. The rules have also led to a 10 per cent lower annual energy consumption by the products in scope.

By 2030, the new framework can lead to 132 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) of primary energy savings, which corresponds roughly to 150 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas, almost equivalent to EU’s import of Russian gas.

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