La Comisión Europea (DG Environment) ha publicado una consulta sobre el “Roadmap on an envisaged Communication “Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy” by Q1/2019”.
La consulta permanecerá abierta hasta el 4 de junio de 2018.
La descripción que se da del problema otorga un papel destacado a los equipos eléctricos y electrónicos:
“The problem this initiative aims to address is that many products in use today are not designed or produced with circularity in mind. They cannot be easily repaired, upgraded or remanufactured, resulting in premature obsolescence. Over the whole life cycle of the product, the use of resources is often suboptimal. At end-of-life, products are discarded and their materials not sufficiently recycled, causing valuable resources to be wasted, including critical raw materials. For instance, electric and electronic products with an estimated potential value of more than € 48 billion are going to waste annually.
This problem is driven in particular by the fact that prices of products do not always reflect their societal costs, which reduces the incentives to invest or consume in line with circular economy considerations. Missing or unclear information for consumers on the environmental performance of products, including a proliferation of unverifiable or even misleading ‘green’ product claims, push in the same direction.”
Con respecto al objetivo dado y cómo resolver el problema, el documento cita lo siguiente:
“The initiative will look at the soundness and completeness of existing EU policy and regulatory instruments, and based on this develop preliminary options for further action where the evidence suggested this to be warranted. It will also include work undertaken in the follow-up to the Refit of the EU Ecolabel and its linkage to the work on product policy.
Where multiple policy tools address the same products or product groups, ways of optimising the interactions between these instruments will be explored. It will endeavour to generate a policy drive towards more circular products, while respecting the specificities of the different policy instruments. In particular, the initiative will build on lessons learned from relevant recent or ongoing initiatives, including those listed under part C. The aim is also to analyse product groups with high circular economy potential currently not or only partially covered by EU policy tools, and describe actions and options to realise this potential. This will take due account of the phase of the product life-cycle where instruments have their impacts: during design and production (upstream), during the use phase and/or at the end of life.
Digitalisation holds potential for more circular products and business models related to products, e.g. through dematerialisation, shared usage, planned maintenance and better traceability of products and their composition throughout the value chain. Policy interventions could help make optimal use of these opportunities while avoiding possible downsides such as undue increases in energy use or a shorter lifetime of products due to premature obsolescence.
A part of the problem this initiative aims to address could be tackled via the deployment of methods to make available more reproducible, comparable, transferable, and verifiable environmental information on products, organisations and innovative green technologies. This should allow companies to green their supply chains, open new possibilities for reuse and recycling, and provide more transparency and clarity for consumers, empowering them to make better informed choices by eliminating unfounded green claims. The communication on a ‘New Deal for Consumers’10 is relevant in this context as it also addresses sustainable consumption.”