EU to introduce waste reduction targets, new sustainable products law

FILE PHOTO: European Environment and Oceans Commissioner-designate Virginijus Sinkevicius of Lithuania attends his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it will introduce new waste reduction targets and sustainability laws to ensure that products placed on the EU market are recyclable, repairable and designed to last longer, its latest plan to halve waste by 2030.

“The goal in the end is decoupling resource extraction from our economic growth,” the EU’s environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius told reporters in Brussels.

Under the new plan, the Commission will present new legislation to ban the destruction of unsold durable goods, and restrict products’ single-use and premature obsolescence, particularly targeting electronic devices.

The sector has “a massive impact” and “is constantly growing,” Sinkevicius said, adding the EU is looking at introducing a common mobile phone charger and encouraging consumers to seek repairs.

Additionally, the bloc’s executive would target textiles. Only 1% of global textiles are currently recycled.

“Textile is the new plastics,” Sinkevicius said.

Intentionally added microplastics would be restricted and measures would make recycled content and waste reduction mandatory.

The Commission will also propose a new regulatory framework for batteries and overpackaging, progressively phasing-out non-rechargeable batteries and limiting packaging waste.

The plan would still need approval from EU member states and the European Parliament.

Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine; Editing by Peter Graff

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