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European Commission expands ecodesign plans

European Commission

The European Commission has announced plans to include six extra products in its ecodesign scheme to boost resource efficiency.

The Ecodesign Directive 2009 contains measures on dozens of products including washing machines, televisions and tumble dryers.

The six products to be included in updated measures are solar panels, hand dryers, lifts, electric kettles, refrigerated containers and building automation controls.

Revisions to the directive will come as part of the circular economy package, currently passing through EU Parliament.

Speaking in Brussels on 8 November, first vice-president Frans Timmermans (pictured left) pledged to broaden the scope of the directive to “wider resource efficiency aspects”.

He said: “We want to explore how to improve recyclability, durability and reparability of products, and there are some very exciting initiatives I see in industry and the NGO community there.”

Vice-president Jyrki Katainen (pictured right) added: “The energy savings by 2020, thanks to ecodesign, will be equivalent to Italy’s annual primary energy consumption.

“Further work according to the preliminary work plan agreed by the [Commission] would bring energy consumption savings by 2030 equal to one year’s primary energy consumption of Sweden. So you can add Sweden to Italy.

“So if you still think ecodesign is a small thing, I don’t think you have understood the whole picture. This is exactly what the EU should do – create a regulatory environment which can help make a change and empower consumers.”

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