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Repair Before Recycling Confirmed By European Governments

Repair before recycling confirmed by European governments

Ecopreneur.eu welcomes a decision made by European governments to compel manufacturers to make refrigerators more easily repairable.

Refrigerators have significant volumes of sales and trade in the EU. At the same time, they have a significant adverse environmental impact and present significant potential for improvement through design, without entailing excessive costs.

The Commission has reviewed and analysed the technical, environmental and economic aspects of refrigerating appliances and published a draft implementing regulation.

The agreement was struck between government delegates in a closed meeting in Brussels on Monday. The agenda of the meeting can be found here. According to the Regulation, producers will have to ensure the “ease of disassembly” of their products in the future. Technicians or consumers will be able to work on them using readily available tools. While some aspects of the regulation could have been more ambitious, Ecopreneur welcomes the overall outcome, including the confirmation of the preference for maintenance and repair over recycling, following the waste hierarchy. 

The Commission Communications on the circular economy and the Communication on the ecodesign working plan underline the importance of using the ecodesign framework to support the move towards a more resource efficient and circular economy. The new Regulation shall be repealed with effect from 1 April 2021.

But this is just a first step, a sort of template for the future actions. The governments are to review other products, such as dishwashers, washing machines, power transformers etc. More information can be found here. Ecopreneur.eu recently supported a letter from European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS) with a plea for immediate action on the EU policy for Ecodesign, and looks forward to participate in further discussions as a member of the the Ecodesign and Energy labelling Consultation Forum (EELCF) of the European Commission.

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