Green Alliance: Circular economy package must tackle product design flaws
The EU's forthcoming circular economy package must encourage manufacturers to design products to be longer-lasting and more repairable, according to the Green Alliance.
The influential think-tank has released an infographic pointing out some key lessons that policy-makers should heed, on the day before the European Commission ends its consultation on what the circular economy package should look like.
Top of the list of priorities, according to the Green Alliance, is increasing repairability in the design phase.
“Keeping valuable resources circulating in the economy supports the market for secondary products and materials across all regions, which could create new jobs in areas of high unemployment, said the think-tank. “It also satisfies consumer demand for better, longer lasting products.”
“An efficient circular economy will increase resource productivity and resilience, and it will help Europe to stay competitive in a world of rising demand for materials.”
The new package, expected to announce at the end of this year, should also try and promote demand among consumers for reused products and recycled materials, said the Green Alliance.
Senior policy advisor Jonny Hazell added: “As the world’s largest single market, Europe is in a unique position to secure the supply of products that are fit for the economy of the future.
“The circular economy package could prove the foundation of a harmonised market in circular economy goods and services, provided it delivers products that are long-lasting, easy to repair and recycle.
“Such a market would generate employment all round the EU and improve the competitiveness of European businesses. As importantly, it will deliver savings for households and reduce the global impact of European consumption.”
The Ellen MacArthur foundation has previously valued the EU circular economy at €1.8trn a year.
Green Alliance infographic: The social benefits of the circular economy