EU Parliament calls for greener and longer-lasting consumer products

BEUC NEWS - 31.05.2018

Today, the European Parliament has adopted a report pushing for consumer products to not only rely on less energy but also to last longer.

 

The Parliament has voted a report on how to roll out the Ecodesign Directive, which aims at improving the environmental performance of energy-related products such as household appliances, ranging from vacuum cleaners and lighting to boilers. Although the Directive already lowers consumers’ energy bill by about €450 every year, MEPs say that a better implementation would trigger further savings both for consumers and the environment.

Together with its sister organisation ANEC, BEUC had called on all members of the EU Parliament to adopt the forward-looking report spearheaded by MEP Frédérique Ries. The report took on board all of BEUC’s recommendations, such as:

  • To include more consumer products in the scope of Ecodesign, such as smartphones. Design is essential to optimise smartphones’ lifespan. According to the Parliament’s report, the average European consumer buys a new mobile every two years, often for technical reasons which could have been prevented through better design.
  • To address energy efficiency but also resource efficiency for each product group. The report rightly calls on the availability of spare parts and software updates.
  • To restrict hazardous substances in the design of products such as endocrine disruptors, which can harm consumers’ health.
  • To speed up the Ecodesign process and to reduce delays. It can take years for the EU to agree on new criteria for specific product groups, sometimes missing the deadlines they’ve set themselves. It makes consumers miss out on substantial savings.   
  • To improve market surveillance Member States are very often lacking resources to fully assume their enforcement roles. It means that there is untapped potential for consumers’ energy savings.

We now count on the EU Commission and Member States to heed the Parliament’s call and better implement the Directive.

More:

BEUC position Greener, better, faster, stronger Ecodesign - Consumer organisations’ views on the implementation and enforcement of the Ecodesign Directive, Dec 2017.

ENDS