European Parliament calls for more sustainable and durable goods
The European Parliament today signed off on its plans to make consumer goods more sustainable and durable.
The Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) made the initial recommendations. The plans were then given the official green light today by the Parliament in its plenary session.
In recent months, many products of dubious quality have come on to the market. Consumers are often unaware about how long these products will last and who to turn to in case they break. The Parliament’s recommendations would have – among other things – three key benefits for consumers.
Firstly, the Parliament asks that future legislation should ensure that consumers get legal guarantees regarding a product’s lifespan and manufacturers would be held directly liable for any potential product defects.
Secondly, manufacturers would also need to provide consumers with pre-purchase information about a product’s lifespan and take measures to tackle premature obsolescence. This would allow consumers to make more informed choices before purchasing goods and potentially avoid any issues later on.
Finally, consumers would also stand to benefit from a ‘right to repair’. This would make product repairs both cheaper and easier. The availability and/or cost of repairs is currently a major stumbling block for consumers, one which often obliges consumers to buy an entirely new product, when in many cases a simple repair would do.
The Parliament has made clear that EU decision makers need to help consumers buy more sustainable and longer-lasting products. BEUC very much welcomes this move. The Parliament has sent a strong signal: this is exactly the kind of initiative consumers need to make our consumption habits greener. It is now up to the European Commission to step up and come up with an equally ambitious legislative proposal.