Making sustainable products the norm
Previously called the “Sustainable Products Initiative”, the European Commission’s proposal for an Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) was published on 30 March 2022 as part of the Commission’s Circular Economy Package I. The objective of the proposed Regulation is to set a framework for the establishment of ecodesign requirements (both information and performance requirements) that products will have to satisfy to be allowed on the EU market.
The ESPR will repeal the Ecodesign Directive and extend its scope beyond energy-related products. Indeed, the proposed Regulation foresees the adoption of delegated acts which will impose requirements related to, for instance, product durability, reusability or reparability, for specific priority product groups.
Beyond foreseen exemptions (the proposed Regulation would not apply to food, animal feed, medicinal products and living plants, animals and products of human origin), it remains to be seen which products will be covered in scope of the Regulation. The Commission has defined textiles, furniture, mattresses, tyres, detergents, paints, lubricants, iron, steel and aluminium as suitable candidates, but the multi-annual working plan the Commission will adopt at the end of 2022 will define the prioritisation of products to be regulated.
Another important feature of this Regulation is the introduction of a Digital Product Passport, to convey information about products’ environmental sustainability to consumers, businesses and public authorities. The Regulation also introduces an obligation of disclosure on the destruction of unsold goods, which could be complemented in the future by a ban in specific sectors, again through the adoption of delegated acts.
In EUROPEN’s view, it is essential that any measures stemming from the ESPR are designed in keeping with the principles of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive to avoid any overlaps or contradictions between the two legislations.
- 03 April – 09 June 2022: Commission consultation on the ESPR proposal.
- Q4 2022: Adoption of the Commission Working Plan including a list of priority products.
- Q2 2022: Start of the Ordinary Legislative Procedure